Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Conservation Issues

Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Postby Steven Yip » Tue May 12, 2009 2:50 am

Hi All,

I ahve recently been sent this message from a conservator:

"Most photos are not on traditional paper but on digital printing paper that we can't use starch paste, a paste for conservation framing. Need to make sure that they don't apply tapes onto the prints."

Can anybody shed any light on the above statement? Is starch paste "bad" for digital printing paper? We never apply tapes to any pieces of art and use mainly Rice Starch to adhere Japanese paper hinges or PVA adhesive on heavier paper stocks. We have ever had any experience of trouble with pur Rice Starch on DIgital Paper.

Thank you.

Steven Yip
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Re: Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Postby iantheframer » Tue May 12, 2009 12:03 pm

The statement seems a little confusing; does the conservator offer any other preferred methods?

Most digital papers, especially the fine art types are in our experience perfectly suited to rice or wheat starch, many are plain papers with a coating to help the inks adhere and since these are often on the front only I don’t see how adhering to the reverse can have any detrimental effects.
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Re: Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Postby JFeig » Tue May 12, 2009 12:26 pm

Another case of using a broad brush on a topic. Some papers for digital printing are made from wood or cotton fibers and a perfect for using starch pastes. If the paper is similar to RC paper (traditional photo chemistry) I can see their point.

from Wikipedia

"Resin-coated papers (RC)

The paper base of resin-coated papers is sealed by two polyethylene layers, making it impenetrable to liquids. Since no chemicals or water are absorbed into the paper base, the time needed for processing, washing and drying durations are significantly reduced in comparison to fibre-based papers. Resin paper prints can be finished and dried within ten to fifteen minutes. Resin-coated papers have improved dimensional stability, and do not curl upon drying."
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Re: Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Postby Bill Henry » Tue May 12, 2009 7:32 pm

I think the concern may have to do with the absorbency of ink-jet and laser print papers.

Traditional photographic papers were generally either fiber based or resin-coated. The later is almost a plastic, while the former generally had a “clay” coating on them. Once processed, the images were somewhat protected by these materials.

Ink jet and laser print papers don’t have this protection so that excess moisture from wet wheat or rice starch paste may leach through the paper and damage the image.
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Re: Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Postby gesso » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:24 pm

No matter what type of print or tape used the material should NEVER be placed behind the image area but should always be attached within the border.
This is why any print should always be printed with as much border as possible minimum requirements are 30 / 40mm
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Re: Starch Paste on Digital Printing Paper

Postby Not your average framer » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:59 pm

I try to avoid wet hinging digital photographic papers, particularly the gloss or semi-gloss papers, because they are often prone to severe cockling.

Some customers bring me digital photographs which they have printed out on their own printers and then paid to have them laminated at a photocopying shop, as preparation proir to framing. (Gee thanks!)

After discussing this with these customers, one of the reasons I am told that this helps to keep the prints flat. What they really mean is that this is to stop the prints from cockling.
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