Glycerine to prevent print curling? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

In a magazine from the sixties, I've read that a bath of glycerine (diluted 1:10) helps to prevent fiber-based prints from curling. Does anyone has experience with this technique? I am also wondering whether glycerine affects the longevity of the print.

Thanks in advance,


-- Paul Perron (, April 18, 2000


In "The Darkroom Cookbook" they list a print flattener that is glycerine and water. I don't remember the dilution, but it seemed to be higher (more water).

-- Terry Carraway (, April 19, 2000.

When I use a print flatner, I use glycerine 1:15 which works very well, I have never tried to mount a print which had the glycerine in it, I don't know how well it would bond, maybe someone out there has had experience with this and would share the info. Regards, Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, April 19, 2000.

Kodak used to sell (maybe they still do) "Print Flattening Solution" which I suspect was just glycerine. I think it works by slowing down the drying process which lets the fibers shrink more evenly. Wood, which is what the "fiber" in "fiber base" is, shrinks as it loses moisture.


-- Charlie Strack (, April 19, 2000.

I might point out that with glycerine in the print it never completely dries, that is one of the benefits in a dry hot climate, it keeps the print from cracking after awhile, and because of the moisture it would relax the wood fibers somewhat as long as that moisture lasts, which can be quite a long time. Regards, Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, April 20, 2000.

The glycerine treatment actually works by stopping the gelatine coating from drying out. If you look at an old curled print it always curls in toward the emulsion side because the gelatine shrinks and pulls the paper base in towards it. Glycerine absorbs water from the air, and so keeps itself and the gelatine from drying out and possibly cracking. I'm not sure what glycerine does to the archival qualities of the print. It might encourage fungal attack, I don't know.

-- Pete Andrews (, April 20, 2000.

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