Giclée prints are created using the latest printing technology and materials of the most superior quality. Therefore it's worth understanding how best to care for them to ensure their longevity. Even though the technology used to create them is relatively recent, it is widely thought that giclée prints can last for a substantial amount of time - much longer than standard prints. In order to potentially last this long, they must be cared for properly.
Firstly, if you ordered your print unframed, it will come rolled up inside a protective tube. When it comes to framing your print, you should only use a professional framer who is familiar with the process of stretching and framing giclée canvases. It is advisable that the framer only use the finest materials to frame the print.
Handle your print only when necessary, never handle it from the corners and only ever handle it from the sides. Always try to handle prints with gloves. Whenever the print is being transported, it should always be well protected and should be kept flat and facedown. Never place any object on the canvas, no matter how small or light, and never lean the canvas against anything. When a canvas is left exposed it's more susceptible to damage and denting.
Canvas pieces that have been stretched or mounted should be stored upright and should never have any weight placed upon them. They should be stored with archival paper dividers interleaved between them and should never touch any other canvas pieces. Ensure that tape never comes into contact with any prints as it can cause peeling. If you intend to roll your prints up, you should roll them it up very tightly so they don't sag as this can cause permanent. Prints should be carefully laid on their side before being rolled up and should be kept standing up if they are to be stored for an extended period of time.
Even though canvas giclée prints come with ultraviolet coating, it is still advised not to hang them in direct sunlight. This is because exposure to UV from sunlight over an extended period of time can still cause them damage.
Canvas lets out and takes in a lot of moisture, which can cause too much shrinking or stretching. To avoid this, the climate of the room needs to be carefully monitored and regulated. Exposing prints to extreme temperatures and sudden changes in temperature can affect their longevity and the materials they're made from. Keeping the room at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity at 55% should do the trick. The room should not have a high amount of traffic and any prints should hung high off the ground out of the reach of children.
To clean a canvas print you should use a soft, dry cloth to wipe off any dust or dirt. Never wash any printed surfaces with water and never expose your print to any solvent-based substance as this can cause yellowing. If you use a light-coloured or white cloth you will be able to see when too much dust or dirt has been picked up. You can carefully wipe your canvas print with a soft cloth that has been slightly dampened with water, though you should only do this if absolutely necessary. The print should be left to dry at room temperature once you've cleaned it.
Joanne Perkins is a Berkshire-based artist with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and specialises in painting Berkshire landscapes. She is happy to accept all queries and questions. For more information about Joanne, her work and her current projects visit: http://joannesberkshirescenes.com/default.aspx