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Author Topic: Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves  (Read 16678 times)

mike_botelho

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« on: May 29, 2008, 12:24:06 pm »

Anyone have any experience with using both high-grade polypropylene and polyester sleeves in portfolio binders with digital prints? I've always used polyester for its clarity, but there are a couple of landscape Pina Zangaro binders that I'm interested in that only use their polypropylene sleeves. I was wondering, how does the clarity and quality compare with polyester sleeves? Their stuff is very expensive, and I'd hate to spend that much money and not care for the result. Plus, the only experience I've had with polypropylene has been with pages that are wavy and cloudy vs the perfect smoothness and high clarity of polyester. Also, does high-grade archival polypropylene have less surface glare/reflection than polyester?

Hope this post is OK here. Seems like the best forum to ask, since it involves the presentation of pigment prints.

Thanks, and Kind Regards,

Mike
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neil snape

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 12:42:33 pm »

A good question.
I went with the crystal type page for my 8 portfolios. I assume they are polyester/acetate rather than polypropylene.

I like the transparency which adds contrast. They are fragile in the sense of dents, and also scratch by abrasion but the thing is you have to change the pages anyway.
The first and last pages are changed regularly, yet the inside pages are good for many views before signs of wear. Finger prints can be wiped off with almost any cleaner. I often use Kami film cleaner as it is antistatic and dries instantly.
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mike_botelho

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 01:23:28 pm »

Quote
A good question.
I went with the crystal type page for my 8 portfolios. I assume they are polyester/acetate rather than polypropylene.

I like the transparency which adds contrast. They are fragile in the sense of dents, and also scratch by abrasion but the thing is you have to change the pages anyway.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198774\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Neil,

The contrast and transparency you describe certainly sounds like polyester, but the word 'crystal' confuses me.  I've only heard that word used in Prat's name for their polypropylene sleeves, Crystal Laser.

I love Prat's products and have a beautiful 11x17 leather portfolio of theirs that's filled with polyester pages.  But I chose their polyester sheets sheets over their polypropylene ones (which, as I said, they call Crystal Laser).  I'd heard that the Crystal Laser sheets had a somewhat cloudy appearance, which certainly doesn't seem to match what you're describing.

But, if high-grade polypropylene is indeed more cloudy than polyester, I'm surprised that Pina Zangaro would use it exclusively in some of their most expensive products (which are certainly some of the most expensive products of their type).  Which is why I was wondering if their archival polypropylene sleeves were better in reality than my previous experiences with that material.

Kind Regards,

Mike

P.S. - Oh, would you mind disclosing the brand of sleeves you use?  This should help me determine if the 'crystal' pages you describe are polypropylene or polyester.  (If they are Prat and referred to as 'Crystal' then they're polypropylene... and I be pleasantly surprised to find that a polypropylene page has that type of clarity... which is why I'd like to know.)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 01:24:55 pm by mike_botelho »
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neil snape

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 02:30:09 pm »

Quote
Hi Neil,


P.S. - Oh, would you mind disclosing the brand of sleeves you use?  This should help me determine if the 'crystal' pages you describe are polypropylene or polyester.  (If they are Prat and referred to as 'Crystal' then they're polypropylene... and I be pleasantly surprised to find that a polypropylene page has that type of clarity... which is why I'd like to know.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198789\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The name Crystal name is an acronym , the pages are from House of Portfolios in NYC.

Polypropylene are softer, don't scratch but not as clear. Just looked , they list Acetate ( no photographers use those, Polyester which is what I have, and OPP which is not Ontario Provincial Police but rather polypropylene I think.
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mike_botelho

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 02:49:51 pm »

Quote
The name Crystal name is an acronym , the pages are from House of Portfolios in NYC.

Polypropylene are softer, don't scratch but not as clear. Just looked , they list Acetate ( no photographers use those, Polyester which is what I have, and OPP which is not Ontario Provincial Police but rather polypropylene I think.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198814\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, Neil.  Looks like I'll probably stick with the polyester and pass on the Pina Zangaro landscape portfolios since they only use polypropylene sheets.  Too bad, since they're come out with some really nice 11X17 landscape books.  Their polyester sheets only work in their 3-ring-binders, which, no matter how fancy or expensive, still remind me of something a high-school student carries around.

Kind Regards,

Mike
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mike_botelho

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 04:26:23 pm »

Quote
A sample shot of my portfolio using these sleeves:
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198843\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the image.  But which sleeves are you showing me?

Kind Regards,

Mike
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mmurph

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 09:46:41 pm »

Sorry, haven't read this, so excuse me if this is repetitive or off track.

The more expensive sleeves from Lost Luggage are very nice. I used to use Light Impressions sleeves, the LL ones are better.


BUT: DON"T USE SLEEVES!    


Much better soltutions are:

1) Mylar hinges that attach to the paper to form the punched/hinged area, or

2) Pre-punched and scored paper, like the Moab Entrada that Lost Luggage sells, that eliminates the need for sleeves or separate hinges. Very elegant!

I have been using the Moab.  Next step is to try one of the premium fiber papers - Epson Exhibition, Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta, etc.  Sprayed, scored, and punched. One side only, but probably worth it for that great paper!

I'll read tomorrow when I have time.

Good luck!

Best,
Michael
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mmurph

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2008, 11:05:01 am »

Hi Sharon!

I have done the books with the Moab Entrada Bright White pre-punched and scored pages. I will get a photo of those up soon.

If you go to the opening page at Lost Luggage, they have a promo on the Moab Entrada pages that will show a bit of the process. I also bought a good stock of the regular, not punched or scored, Entrada in rolls and sheets for testing and proofs.

http://www.lost-luggage.com/store/welcome.php

I have not had a chance to do a book with the baryta papers yet. I have tested them all and am still sorting through which are going to work best for me.  I just received a 24" roll of the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Bartya, I'll have to profile that and try out the paper in the book.  I love the Epson Exhibition Fiber, but I prefer rolls for day to day work (easier than carrying multiple sizes.) I am going to re-test the Innova, who are supposed to be the supplier for Epson.

I am not working right now - off for at least 6 more months for shoulder surgery - so I haven't been updating my book.  I have about 12 Lost Luggage books, which I love. Next on the agenda is the newer 11x17 that they sell.    

If you comb through their site, you can find information on the different methods of putting together the books. Look through products, FAQ's, etc.

The mylar hinges have been around for a while. It is quite easy to attach them to the edges of a sheet and insert the sheet into a book without a sleeve.  For a high-end book - for customers - I would never go back to sheets. You just lose too much with even the best sheets.  I still use sheets for my own books when I am working on projects, testing, etc.

Any of the papers will need to be sprayed to be used in a book without the sleeves.  They do show some wear. Make multiples when you print the book and just slide them in to update.

Scoring and punching the sheet itself is a newer technique, at least as far as most of us are concerned (I think it has been around forever in bookmaking.)

I have never done my own sheets.  What you need to do is buy a bone tool for scoring the papers, plus a paper punch. That is why I bought the pre-punched Moab sheets from Lost Luggage instead.  I have arm and hand pain, the fabrication was just too involved for me. Though I am **very** eager to get the newer papers in a book, they are so wonderful to handle.    

I had done almost 100% Photo Black printing before I bought the Moab Entrada (matte) papers for the book. I am quite happy with them, but I would like to eliminate matte papers from my stock just for simplicity (number of papers, profiles, etc.)

Good luck!  Let us know what you decide. I imagine there may bed a near term solution (sheets) and a longer term solution.

Also, FWIW, Light Impressions has a 10% off sale that ends today (Saturday.) They have good sleeves too - though the Lost Luggage are very nice and I like them a bit better.


Best,
Michael
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mmurph

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2008, 11:26:10 am »

Case Envy is also owned by Lost Luggage. They market their older style - and cheaper - portfolio.

If you look at the Moab Entrada pages here, and click on "03" below the image to get to page 3, they have a photo of the Entrada pages with a double page layout with the image across the gutter. Might give you a feel for the look:

http://www.caseenvy.com/paper.shtml#

OK, added the picture here.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2008, 11:34:28 am by mmurph »
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mmurph

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Portfolios: Polypropylene vs Polyester Sleeves
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2008, 06:53:00 pm »

Yeah, the Lost Luggage are a little pricy! The Case Envy are more reasonable.

I have a bit of fetish about portfolios I think.    

I have the green and blue felt in various sizes from previous years.  8.5x11, 11x14 in portrait and landscape (differnt portfolios.) I really love them, soft and casual, relaxed feel.

I would like to add some charcoal felt and some 11x17.  Can't justify it right now though.  
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