Go Back

Question: How can I prevent canvas from cracking along the fold?

Answer: Traditional Artist canvas sometimes has a tendency to crack when folded; this is an unfortunate traditional characteristic of the Gesso coating or painting surface. The canvas is especially susceptible to cracking in freezing temperatures when it becomes brittle. Let the canvas warm first in order to become pliable.
Some things that help to prevent this are a good ink receptive top coat which creates an additional barrier and layer of protection for the gesso layer.
The best protection against cracking is a good top coat over the printed image; this encapsulates the print which ensures additional bonding throughout coatings as well as surface protection for the image. In addition a good topcoat, sometimes referred to as varnish or liquid laminate, can help to protect the image from fading which is caused by UV rays.
When mounting to a frame it is important to remember ‘stretching’ a canvas is more a descriptive rather than a general term. Actually it is more like ‘wrapping’ the frame with the canvas under tension. The reason I make this clarification is that the canvas itself will typically have more give or stretch as a woven fabric whereas the coating is often not ‘stretchy’ especially when traditional textured canvas is considered.
Additional techniques to prevent cracking are:

  • If the fold is on a printed area, try to fold & mount soon after printing as the coating is softened by the ink on aqueous based canvas.
  • Lightly dampening the reverse ‘raw’ canvas side with a spray bottle will also allow it to become more pliable & less prone to cracking.

Question: Is there anything I should know about the drying of Solvent IJ prints?

Answer: Allow solvent prints to dry and outgas thoroughly before handling. For extra protection against fingerprints and scuff marks, wear gloves when handling printed media during the first 12 hours. To maximize production, sometimes you need a little extra drying power. Try using a dehumidifier in the room and placing box fans in front of the printer. (Be careful with fan placement. Airflow under the media may cause head strikes during printing.)

If you are experiencing drying issues:
Turn down the heat in 5 degree increments ("pre heat" or "print heat") on your printer. This sounds counter intuitive, but higher temperatures open the pores of the media's coating too much and they don't have time to close before the print reaches the take-up roller. As a general starting point, set your "pre heat" or "print heat" to 35°C and your "post heat" or "dryer heat" to 40°C.