Paper Edges

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Smooth edges are the standard for photographic prints. The benefits are numerous

Prints can be made on cut sheets or from rolls. If you need a custom sized paper, that’s easy- the paper can be trimmed to your specifications.

Smooth edges are friendlier for your printer as there is less chance of the printhead striking a stray edge and damaging the paper, or worse, the printhead itself.

Custom borders can be designed or completely done away with.

How any sized image is placed on any sized paper is completely up to your artistic vision.

Smooth paper edges may not be the glitziest subject, but they’re the unsung heroes of any custom print job.

​Image: Derek Bisbing @derekbisbing
​Paper: Awagami Unryu Thin (Swirling Fibres) 55gsm

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Hundreds of years ago, deckle edges were unavoidable. It was simply how papers were made. In the mould, the paper pulp would get caught between the screen and the fence (deckle). The result would be four edges with a thin and irregular shape.

Modern paper making with machines and rolls eliminated the deckle edge. But, the old ways die hard. Deckle edges became popular and survive today as speciality papers and in old process hand made papers.

We currently carry ILFORD GALERIE Tesuki-Washi EchiZen 110gsm, and we’re testing two more paper options that may make it into our line-up.

If you think your images may benefit from being printed on a handcrafted sheet with a deckle edge, we’re happy to carry an option for you.

Image: Kathy Davies​
Paper: Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm

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Do you want the look of a deckle edge in a custom size or on a paper that isn’t hand-crafted with a deckle edge? Hand tearing the paper is a great option.

Hand torn edges are very similar to deckle edges, and can be made on a wide range of fine art papers.

Edges can be torn employing a straight edge resulting in a more uniform edge or can be torn using a deckle edge ruler. Deckle edge rulers feature an irregular pattern instead of a straight edge and help create the look of an authentic deckle edge. There are a wide variety of deckle edge rulers all featuring unique patterns for your torn edges. If you are getting your own deckle edge ruler, get the biggest one that will be suitable for your intended sizes, and don’t worry about whether is comes with metric or imperial markings- no one uses these rulers to measure anything.

​In these posts three different rulers were used; a sharp straight edge, a wider profile straight edge, and a dedicated deckling ruler. Some materials testing may be required to get the look you’re after. Experiment with different papers, and different rulers to fine tune your look.

Image: Kathy Davies​
Paper: Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsm