We are often asked about the laminate we use on our canvas prints. Laminating or varnishing a canvas is the method used to protect the canvas. This UV resistant coating helps the canvas print last without damage for upwards of 70 years.
The laminate protects the canvas is a number of ways, firstly the lamination helps prevent scratches to the print from being banged when moved. An un-laminated canvas print is vulnerable to being damaged very easily and at some point in its lifespan it will probably be badly handled, the dame caused is often irreparable. Secondly, the protective coating prevents the canvas from water damage such as humidity, this also means that the canvas can be gently cleaned with a damp cloth to remove dust and finger marks. A good quality laminate will also enrich the colours and contrast of a print.
It is important to note that a good laminate is completely invisible, it does not detract from the image, and it will further enhance the vivid colours of the print, bringing out depth and vibrancy.
If we were to print a photo on canvas using our Artist quality Poly/Cotton then leave it un-laminated and exposed to light and full sun UV rays, the image would last for around 56 years before there is colour fading and shift. This is because of the UV resistant inks we use. However, when we laminate the canvas, this figure more than doubles 120 years. (Results based on Canson canvas and Epson inks third party testing)
You may say, “I don„t really need the canvas to last 50 to 120 years! however preventing physical damage is the main issue, whether it is from dropping or scrapping the canvas or preventing water damage from humidity. Without lamination a canvas in the tropics can end up with fungus or mould on it, an un-laminated canvas cannot be cleaned without fear of damage.
Some canvas printers out there dont laminate, some even recommend against it! The only viable reason for this is that they haven„t read the information now available from the numerous 3rd party laboratories that all agree, laminates only add to the quality of a canvas. Many canvas printers will avoid laminating in order to avoid incurring the extra expense and effort required to laminate canvases. This lamination process takes time to cover the canvas and then to wait for them to dry. At Blue Horizon Printing it is vitally important that we give our customers 100% satisfaction that their canvas will look great, not be rushed and will stand the test of time.
Our recommendation is never buy an un-laminated canvas print if you want your print to last more than a couple of years.