Hahnemühle FineArt on the subject of OBA´s
As the manufacturer of the worldwide leading Digital FineArt papers, Hahnemühle FineArt would like to comment on our use of optical brighteners. As a basic principle the papers included in the Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Collection have been rated to last for hundreds of years according to the ISO Standard 9706 for archivability. The rag and alpha cellulose used contain the lowest possible amount of lignin, so that the whiteness of the base papers will barely alter after hundreds of years. At the request of many customers Hahnemühle offers bright white papers, where optical brighteners are needed in production. The whiteness of the base materials may alter slightly over a period of between 20 to 200 years. Some users regard this as a “natural patina” of fine art prints, while others find this not to their liking.
Hahnemühle FineArt offers its customers three categories of white papers:
1. Natural white papers without optical brighteners, such as William Turner, Albrecht Dürer, Museum Etching, Natural Art Duo and Photo Art. This range will be expanded in the beginning of 2007 with a new product – Photo Rag® Pearl.
2. White papers with a minimum of brightener (< 0.1%) such as Photo Rag® or German Etching.
3. Bright white papers with 0.1 to 0.8% optical brightener such as Photo Rag® Bright White, Torchon or FineArt Pearl.
At Hahnemühle FineArt, the highest quality optical brighteners are added directly to the pulp mixture during production and not to the inkjet coating as is the case with some other manufacturers. Over the course of time these sparsely used optical brighteners lose their ability to reflect UV light. It is this ability to reflect light that makes the paper appear brighter. Depending upon the print’s exposure to light (affected by whether the image is unprotected, exhibited behind glass or protected with Hahnemühle Protective Spray), the effect of optical brighteners may decrease at a quicker or slower rate.
The Hahnemühle papers William Turner (category 1, no optical brightener) and Photo Rag® (category 2, a minimum of optical brightener) have been tested in combination with the new Vivera inks from HP, at the renowned Wilhelm Imaging Research Institute Inc. Over a simulated test period of 200 years no appreciable change in the whiteness of the paper was detected. Even in the case of the papers belonging to category 3, the bright white papers, after testing by the German FOGRA institute remained stable for a test period of between 20 and 50 years.
Hahnemühle FineArt includes bright white papers with a whiteness of between 100 to 110% in its program at the request of many of its customers. It is not possible to produce these papers without optical brighteners because the alpha cellulose used only has a natural whiteness of 95% (maximum) and the cotton linters only 90%.
In its TIPA award-winning Digital FineArt Collection, Hahnemuhle FineArt offers a number of papers with and without optical brighteners. For those who prefer papers without optical brighteners, the natural white papers are available for fine art reproduction, photographs or digital artwork. Alternatively, if an artist prefers a particularly white paper to enhance the expression of a motif, then he can be sure that only a minimum of optical brighteners are used. Ideally these papers should not be exposed to extreme levels of light and they should be protected with the Hahnemühle Protective Spray and be displayed behind glass.For more information please visit: Wilhelm Imaging Research Institute Inc.