Thoughts on Lint-Free GlovesJanuary 10, 2019 10:47 pm Leave your thoughts
Wearing lint-free gloves for handling big prints to protect their integrity didn’t go away with the dark room and photo processing. Strangely, it’s more important today than ever. Lint-free gloves are especially good when handling and loading a roll of print material on the printer. It’s a layer of soft downy white between the print material and bare greasy hands. The oils from the hand (even freshly washed hands) can literally put a resisting barrier between the ink and material and shows up as finger and handprints on the final print. Oh crud, that’s bad. Over the years, after handling thousands of prints and heavy material rolls from large printers, I’ve had to constantly remind myself - wear gloves and be ever so gentle. Kinks are bad. Finger prints are bad. Oh crud, did it again - that’s bad. So, wear gloves to keep hand grease off and be ever so gentle should be the mindset of every person using a large format printer.
Everyone wants to just get it going and use these cool printers, but be prepared. Before a print is even generated, the handler should know how it’ll be handled. “How do I pick it up, what’s the end use and how will I get it there - laminate, trim, frame, mount, fold, finish the edges…?” Avoid kinks at all cost. Avoid touching the surface if possible. It’s not the end of the world if it happens but do keep in mind the quality of the print. The rich history of the technology in your hands. The time and energy that went into it. And then the concentration exerted focusing on the perfect image or photo by the artist. And how’s this done without getting paranoid?
Okay, so this is a little over the top, but the point is – wear gloves and be gentle. Even handling prints from small desktop printers gets consideration when used for simple photo printing. We all realize we don’t touch the surface when matting or placing it in the frame. Kinks are bad. Finger prints are bad. Oh crud, did it again - that’s bad. Oh well, print it again. Unfortunately, large prints can’t be printed again every time it gets a booboo from poor handling.
Before all else (every time), be sure the work surface large enough for the print is clean and free from particles that can scratch the print and get stuck under laminates. Once the laminate’s down these specs can seem like nasty bits of food stuck between the teeth and under the gums that you can’t floss out. Now that’s a picture with a point.
So, when handling a big print properly, you should be wearing lint-free gloves. Gently pick it up on the both edges and don’t let it relax or sag in the middle, if possible. be careful to not touch the printed ink surface even though it’s dry. Of course, for prints as big as five feet wide and perhaps too long to see the other end, gently let the print roll back up with the natural curl of the material – direct it, don’t force it. Then, gently pinch the edge, support the middle and pick it up to move to a clean work surface large enough for the print. Lay it down gently, don’t scoot it around and never unroll without control. Good job!
Prints this big can be difficult to handle at first, but with practice gets easier. To be sure, always wear lint-free gloves to protect heavy print material rolls and keep greasy fingers from leaving ink-resisting smudges behind. Keep the work surface clean, never scoot it with the print side down and always control the roll.
A final thought - if nothing else, gloves improve the handlers focus on the print and how great the visual masterpiece will look when done.
Just remember, kinks are bad. Finger prints are bad. Oh crud, did it again and (woops) no more print material - that’s bad.