Archival Solution of the Week: Archival Thin Paper
So, do you actually NEED to “interleave” your images, artwork, collectibles or documents?
Well, you may ask, what the heck does “interleave” actually mean, anyway???
In a nutshell, imagine you have 20 photographs, digital prints, family documents or other flat collectibles. Now let’s say that you want to place them in an acid-free Metal Edge Drop Front Box for long term storage (see pix above), or perhaps place them in a fine archival Onyx Portfolio Box for presentation. Either way, what you DON’T want to do is just stack print upon print – with nothing between them – as this can cause abrasion, acid migration, and other such “contact” nastiness.
What you DO want to do is place a sheet of “interleaving something-or-other” between each image or document (and behind the front window mat of a matted piece, see pix below), whether you’re storing them or presenting them.
But what to use??? Questions, questions!
Archival Thin Paper: Knowing About What’s Out There
Rather than running through the gamut of what you definitely SHOULDN’T use for interleaving (“regular” paper / kraft paper / newsprint / paper towels / wax paper / tinfoil / sandpaper / tar paper / roofing shingles / wet rags / etc.) I’ll just come out and tell ya that the pros working in the world’s best galleries and museums use acid-free / archival “interleaving tissues and papers.”
Well, that narrows things down a bit, and Archival Methods – a world leader in acid-free / museum-quality presentation and storage materials – offers a few different varieties of interleaving materials, including the following:
(Please click on each product name for more information / gsm = grams per square meter, a standard for gauging a paper’s “weight.”)
• Archival Tissue (0.002″ / 25 gsm)
• Archival Thin Paper (0.003″ / 45 gsm)
• Translucent Interleaving (0.003″ / 63 gsm)
• Permalife 20 lb Paper (0.004″ / 75 gsm)
• Archival Paper (0.007″ / 120 gsm)
• Acid Free Card Stock (0.010″ / 148 gsm)
Ok, so now you know that there a few options available, but WHICH interleaving tissue or paper is best for YOU? Well, the easiest way to judge is to use our Archival Paper Sample Kit (see pix below). This kit includes a 5 x 7″ sample of each of the papers and tissues listed above, and for only $2 bucks (with FREE shipping) it’s a MUST for anyone who takes archival preservation and presentation seriously – namely YOU, cuz you’re still reading this blog!
(While you’re at it, order one of our $2 Mat Board Sample Kits, as it will allow you to select the right color and thickness of archival mat board for your needs – please click here to see our short video on the topic.)
Archival Thin Paper: In the “Goldilocks Zone”
Yet since you perhaps don’t have one of these easy-to-use Archival Paper Sample Kits on order just yet, let me make a quick recommendation: whenever you need a high-quality acid-free interleaving material, consider our Archival Thin Paper!
The reasons I’m making this recommendation are actually quite simple. Archival Tissue has many important uses, and was the “go-to” interleaving material used by artists, photographers, museums and collectors for many years. Some people, however, feel that Archival Tissue is “not heavy enough” (too thin) for their purposes. Likewise, many of these same individuals undoubtedly find that Archival Paper and Permalife 20lb Paper is “too heavy” (too thick) for their interleaving needs (even though both of these high-quality products have a zillion other uses).
Well, we at Archival Methods LISTENED to these individuals (we do that a lot around here), and have recently created our new Archival Thin Paper.
Yes folks, it’s in the “Goldilocks Zone” of interleaving materials: not too thin, not too thick, it’s JUST RIGHT!
Archival Thin Paper: The Specs
Archival Thin Paper was specifically designed by Archival Methods as an intermediary-weight interleaving paper for artwork, photographs, collectibles and documents. This unique material has the thinness of a tissue and the stiffness of paper, making it easy to handle and use. Weighing in at 45 gsm, Archival Thin Paper offers wonderful surface protection for your images while also maintaining a slight transparency, which allows for the identification of an image without removing the interleaving sheet (see pix below).
Archival Thin Paper is made from acid- and lignin-free wood pulp with a 2-3% calcium carbonate buffering (please click here to see our illustrated blog on Archival Definitions: Acid-Free / Buffered / Unbuffered – you’ll be glad you did!). It has a smooth surface on both sides, and is available in packages of cut sheets in all the most popular sizes (21 of them! and if you need a custom-cut size just give us a call), as well as rolls sized for contemporary ink jet papers and other large needs, as follows:
• 13″ x 300 feet
• 17″ x 300 feet
• 22″ x 300 feet
• 34″ x 300 feet
• 44″ x 300 feet
So, in closing, if you still aren’t sure which interleaving tissue or paper is right for you, please consider ordering our Archival Paper Sample Kit (and while you’re at it, order our Mat Board Sample Kit along with it!), or consider jumping right in with our Archival Thin Paper, as described above. Ya can’t go wrong with that one, folks!
In addition, if you have any questions or would like more information on any of our museum-quality archival storage and presentation materials, please contact us here at Archival Methods. We’re always there to help with any archiving, storage, or presentation questions you may have.
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