The surface of inkjet prints is delicate. Inkjet prints are too easily scuffed, scratched, abraded, or literally “rubbed the wrong way.” You can ruin your precious fine art giclee or fine art photographic prints just by rolling and unrolling them several times. To protect your inkjet prints, you need to laminate, clearcoat, or otherwise protect the surface.
Since FLAAR at BGSU in Ohio and FLAAR at our Latin American office produce giclee and fine art photographs for artists, these prints all need protection. So for 2006 we are adding evaluation of liquid laminate such as Clearstar ClearShield.
In past years people tended to use solvent-based laminates such as Clearstar ClearJet. But the odor of solvent-based liquid laminates is foul, requires expensive ventilation, and all solvents are bad for your health and worse for the environment. So nowadays most giclee ateliers prefer to prefer water-based liquid laminates.
You would not tend to use traditional laminating machines on digital fine art because you don’t want your giclee, décor, or fine art photographs to look like they are covered by cheap plastic film.
So far it is tough to obtain a consensus. Everyone uses a different laminating liquid. Everyone reports either yellowing, cracking, or that the laminate leaves a milky discoloration on the image. Note: these are NOT comments specifically about Clearstar ClearShield. The above comments are general. We have not yet found two giclee ateliers or sources that can agree on which liquid laminate is the best. Thus we tentatively conclude that a lot depends on how it is applied, and what it is applied too, and the conditions of the print (sometimes it may not be really dry before it is laminated).
In other words, we will need to do all the experimentation ourselves.
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