Because giclée prints are created using the latest printing technology and materials of the most superior quality, it is worth understanding how best to care for them to ensure their longevity. 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 – if they are 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.
You should handle your print only when necessary and only ever hold it from the sides. Never handle the print from the corners as they are very easily damaged. Handle the print with gloves if possible. Whenever the print is being transported, it should always be well protected and should be kept flat and face down. Never place any object on the canvas, no matter how small or light, and never lean the canvas against anything. This is because canvas is left exposed and is therefore a lot more susceptible to damage and denting.
Canvas pieces that have been stretched or mounted should be stored upright and should never have any amount of 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 because exposure to UV from sunlight over an extended period of time can still cause damage.
Canvas is very hydrophilic and therefore takes in and lets out a lot of moisture. This can cause too much shrinkage or stretching, so the climate of the room the print is kept in should be carefully monitored and regulated. Exposing your print to extreme temperatures, or even sudden changes in temperature, can affect both the longevity of the print and the materials it’s made from. Different websites suggest different things, but a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of around 55% should be sufficient. Having a relatively high humidity can eventually cause yellowing. Ideally the room the print is kept in should not have a lot of traffic to reduce the risk of someone accidentally damaging it. Additionally the print should be hung high enough off the ground so that young children cannot reach it.
When it comes to cleaning your 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. It is acceptable for you to carefully wipe your canvas print with a soft cloth that has been slightly dampened with water, however you should only do this if absolutely necessary. The print should be left to dry at room temperature once you’ve cleaned it.
These are just a few guidelines to caring for giclée prints. Following these will ensure that your print stays in the optimum condition for a very long time. Giclée prints are highly valued pieces of art so it is highly advised that you care for them as you would any other valuable piece of art. Your reward for following these guidelines is having a fine print that will stay in pristine condition for many decades to come.