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What is the Trick behind The Longevity of Archival Prints?

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Archival printing has become a favorite option for the collectors, librarians and museum people. If you are not sure why they use such a printing process, well you are about to read a lot of information that interests you. Archival printing is different type of printing process that is mainly made for preservation of documents, photographs and fine art works. They last centuries without having the minutest of blemishes.

It is not a magic trick of any sort; it is just a development in the field of printing. The regular prints use regular paper that is high in lignin and acid. Lignin is a substance that is found in the plant cell walls. It is responsible for the yellowing of paper and its degradation. Normal paper also contains acid; the acidic content in paper makes it brittle, thin and fragile. So the degradation of printed paper is aided. You can find the examples of degradation in normal quality paper prints in the newspapers that arrive at your home. Such a paper starts yellowing after a couple of months. On the other hand, the paper used by best archival printers is bereft of lignin and acidic components. Not only this, the paper is slightly alkaline in nature.

Some other features of the archival paper include:

• The paper has a pH value hovering between 7.5 and 10.

• The paper utilizes alkali reserve containing at least 2% of calcium carbonate.

• Such paper is highly resistant to tearing.

• Paper utilized by the best archival printers is free from the substance known as Lignin, which is an oxidized material.

• Mainly, this high quality paper is made from cotton.

• Archival paper cannot be broken by folding.

Though paper is an important part for the longevity of archival prints, but it is not all that matters. As the best archival printers located in various parts of the world would comment there are many other things that go into a successful reproduction of photos, artworks or documents.

Some of these factors are:

• The entire process of archival printing starts with a high quality digital file that is scanned from an existing work, computer created art or a digital capture. The scanning is not solely enough to give a good reproduction. The color corrections and profiling should be carried out before commencing.

• The archival prints are made using a high end inkjet printer. This printer should have great configurations. It should have closed loop color management system.

• The prints should utilize specially created pigments that protect the work from any natural factors.

• It should utilize the special archival paper that is lignin and acid free.

• No archival prints should be handled by a novice. It should be done by an experienced printer who has an in depth understanding of color theory and capability to tackle imaging software. The printer should have an artistic vision, not only this he/she should have an eye for detail.

As you can see the best archival printers around are supremely skilled professionals. With their aid you can protect the printed material for up to 200 years. That is a hefty lot of time!

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