Dry Mount Epson Archival InkJet?

Pat Regan

Feb 28, 2004
Victor, NY
I will be doing some of my standard sized print framing and then working with a framer for my non-standard sized prints (until I get tired and say the heck with it and have the framer finish them off for me).

I wanted to know your thoughts on mounting. I found out from a well-known photographer in the area that dry mounting prints from an Epson 2200 (high end archival inkjet printer)is not a problem. In fact, he has sold hundreds of prints this way. Assuming this works, should I have a framer dry mount all my prints?

If not, then should I cold mount them with PMA?

Or not bother and just hinge mount em (w/corners?

Seeing that there are so many different hinge mount methods, one of you guys must have the "best" method. I am interested in hearing it.

Lastly, I am looking into the Nielsen Archival Gallery frames. Can someone get me a bunch for a good price? I can get the 16x20's for 32.99 each at dickblick. Let me know if you can get me a better deal.
Or not bother and just hinge mount em (w/corners?
I manage a combination Frame Shop and Photography Studio. We do all of our own Graphic Arts and printing on-site. We have several different Epson printers and one of them is the 2200. You heard correct, there is no problem drymounting the prints from this printer.

Personally, I like to see pretty much all of the photos from this printer drymounted, but only if it is matted first. It's rather a pain to have to build up around a mounted photo after the fact to make certain the matting doesn't bow. Combint this with a possible lack of space behind the rabbet of the frame and you can run into problems.

Just my 2 cents worth.... ok maybe not even worth that much.

I use Epson's Archival Matte paper with the 2000P and have sometimes drymounted my own prints. It was more of an experiment than a presentation consideration. :eek:

There doesn't APPEAR to be a problem, but who really knows what the long-term affects might be, especially with respect to the longevity of the images? I don't believe those fade-resistance tests that Epson loves to brag about were conducted on prints that had been cooked at 190 degrees for 1-4 minutes.

Unlike fiber-base lab prints, these prints come out very flat, so why dry-mount? Even if you don't worry about any long-term effects, it's an additional, unnecessary step.
Ron -

I guess I was just worried about the rippling or waving of the print but I am not convinced it will happen if hinge-mounted (w/corners) correctly. Does anyone have any experience with Epson 2200 and hinge-mounting, have you had any problems with this?
Yes, Pat. That's what I do when I'm not experimenting.

Mylar corner pockets, Japanese hinge, flanges, Art Saver Strips - all of these will work. There's no reason for the print to buckle if it's done properly by someone who knows what they're doing.
Epson prints: Using Drytac tissue at 180 for 2 min results in easily visible color shifts on most of the prints we have tested. If you want to test, get a print, cut it in half, heat mount one half and compare.

These prints are being delivered by many photo labs in our area in sizes up to 40 inches as "photo enlargements" the lab customer that then becomes our framing customer has no idea what these prints actually are. This is the real world - the print isn't going to buckle in the frame - it's all ready buckled when we get it - the print owner has them rolled up, unrolls them 10 times to show friends, puts finger "smiles" in them from holding them, and even wrinkles them. Hinges or corners mounts simply won't do the job that our customer wants us to do. They need to be mounted. We want to mount them in a permanent way to make them look their best and so we can provide a product we can stand behind. Yesterday a customer came in with a 20 x 30 Epson inkjet print, not rolled, not packaged in any way, just hanging from her hand. It was windy day. She can't even see it is a mess. WE mounted it with PMA, matted and framed it. It now looks perfect. That's what she paid us to do. She doesn't want to know about any technical details of the mounting or framing, she just wants us to do a great job that will last a long time without her being annoyed at a wrinkled print every time she walks by it in her home.
I think what Allen was saying is have the printes drymounted on a board large enough for the mat to fit with the mounting board the same size as the outside of the mat.

Why not check the local framer for a price on the metals with you doing the labor, he may be able to make a buck or two at DB prices.

When using the corners make sure you leave room for expansion on the sides of the bottom ones and top and sides of the top ones. The frames should also have room for the mats to expand. Good luck.
John, I forgot that these prints are frequently abused - just like a lot of the other stuff we get in. Most of the Epson prints I've framed have been my own and printed about 20 feet from where they're framed.

About the only prints I permanently mount are the ones that have been damaged before I get them, but you're right - it's a high percentage of the ones I get in.

On my new dust cover labels I'm printing for each order, I not only tell HOW the item is mounted, but WHY it's mounted permanently, if that is the case.
We print and mount many Epson 2200 prints (using Epson paper and Epson inks) and have been quite happy with the results. We prefer to let the print dry/cure for 24 hours before mounting, however we have mounted some(@ 184F degrees for 2.5 minutes) using a shorter cure time to equally satisfactory results.
While we prefer to hinge mount the smaller prints, we use both single sheet paper as well as roll paper. Trying to hinge mount the rolled paper is a difficult and curley proposition. In these cases drymounting is the best option.
I will experiment with PMA and hinge-mounting (w/corners) and see how they turn out. If both turn out fine then the only reason I see to PMA them is to avoid any waving in the future (from expanding / contracting). But as Rin stated, if done right it shouldn't be a problem.

One last question, I think when I sell my matted prints that I should probably attach the mats somehow. I think most people would be turned off if they were just hinged at the top. I am thinking to ATG them tight around the print (maybe get one of those fancy dispensers). By doing this, it can still be detached without any damage (I tried this on a print I bought last year and it worked). Does this sound OK?
Better to just hinge the mat to the backing along one long side. Depending on the finished side, you can get some nice Mylar envelopes to put the matted photos is for display and selling, or have them shrink-wrapped.

Knowledgeable customers, the ones you want to appeal to, will be more turned off by a mat ATGed to the backing.
Definately use Mylar envelopes or have them shrink wrapped. This will save you down the line as potential customers handle and admire your work with not so clean hands.

Also, at that point they have no idea if they are hindged, ATGed or whatever, and I find most people don't care either.
hey you can get those envelopes at framingsupplies.com they are out of NC and they have really good clarity.
Mylar envelopes, yeah, that makes sense. Ar framingsupplies.com I found

"Self Adhesive Crystal Clear Plastic Bags"

Are these the same thing?

Also, where can I find a pen to sign my prints with that will work on epson paper (must be archival)?