Well GUESS WHAT! Epson Exhibition Canvas Gloss Natural may be OBA free, but I'm afraid my keen sense of smell is telling me it isn't Acid Free! Strong acetic acid smell while printing, and while the ink is drying. You know, like Kodak Glacial Acetic Acid Stop Bath.
I'm suspect all the "Acid Free" hype is entirely coming from dealers, who probably assume that since the earlier Exhibition Canvas Gloss is known to be acid-free, so is this new stuff. I checked Epson's PR announcement
again, and whaddya know, not a mention of Acid Free anywhere!
Has anybody got any further information about this? I could be wrong, but that acetic acid smell is wafting in the air as I type, and it's the same as I get with Crystalline and Diamond Black, both of which are known to be slightly acidic in the emulsion. The only acid free gloss canvas is apparently still the older Epson Exhibition Canvas Gloss (non natural version) which has no particular smell at all.
A little hurried right now. But to summarize, really nice looking prints! Gamut about the same as the non-natural Epson Gloss Canvas, but somehow the same image looks more lively on Natural. The 44" roll I have now is a supple 17 mils thick and has no trouble at all with curling edges or any of the other feed and/or headbanging problems that bedevil the 23 mil thick substrate on non-natural Epson Gloss. Weave is relatively non-polarized, but unfortunately a little on the textured side, but not too bad. Maybe a slight step backwards towards to old, old "starfield" surface, but nowhere near as bad. Coats very nicely. Coating has very little visible effect on the surface. Non-natural Gloss has a very slight haze that is cleared up with coating, but Natural is very transparent even when not coated.
Definitely made by a different manufacturer than non-natural Gloss. Could find no "Made In xxxxx" notices on the packaging, so probably somebody in the US. The package looks plain-wrap compared to Epson's usually graphic-rich packaging, so I wonder if I have a sort of "beta test" roll. Printed about 10 feet the roll tonight, and as far as I can tell there is not a single defect. That's pretty cool!
But what about the acid thing? This will take some study.