Friday, December 3, 2010

Tip Sheet #6 -- No Charge for Dust

Dust Off Epson®'s New Hot-Pressed Fine Arts Papers

1986 promotional button for Incredible Images AB (Stockholm).
We were in the slide show business then, making extravaganzas
for Saab and other European companies. In that business
dusty slides are as bad as a dirty giclée is in our work.

Just when I thought I could put my old 'No Charge for Dust' button away, I suddenly found myself needing it after printing on some of Epson®'s new Hot-Pressed Fine Arts Paper.

The new paper was used at Vashon Island Imaging to print the Shotridge Serigraphs Collection that were the subject of a recent blog (Spot-On Colors). A few of them printed with a tiny white spot impossible to fix with spotting colors. The spots weren't in the same places.

We ran about 60 feet of 24-inch-wide roll stock through our Epson® 9900 (half 'Natural' White and the other half 'Bright' White) when the problem emerged. At the time, I chalked it up to 'new printer' and figured maybe a little break in was needed. The problem required a 20% over-run to get enough good copies... an extra cost I didn't appreciate.

When I swapped out media I discovered the problem... paper dust. This has never been a problem with Epson® papers before, so I was surprised to see it. There wasn't a lot, but it only takes one little one to ruin a giclée, eh?

Be careful when you clean this stuff out. A dry-damp lint-free cloth is a better solution then compressed air.
If you blow it the stuff could settle down in the head and/or its tracks and mechanisms. However, it's impossible to clean in crevices with a cloth so some combination of the two is needed.

Tell our friends at Epson® that if this problem persists we're going to blow off the papers instead of the dust.

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