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Thread: How to flatten old curled photos

  1. #1
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    How to flatten old curled photos

    I have some b&w photos that have "curled" by age etc. Is there some way to safely flatten them so I can mount them flat?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Administrator Colin Southern's Avatar
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    Re: How to remove the "curl" in old b&w photos

    When you say "mount them" are you meaning temporarily whilst you photograph them, or permanantly as in a frame?

    PS: Welcome to the forums - great to have you with us

  3. #3
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    Re: How to remove the "curl" in old b&w photos

    Actually both. I will need them to lie flat so they can be reproduced, that is, those that I will be "float mounting" and then framing. The originals I will not be mounting them but putting them in albumns so they can be kept flat.

  4. #4
    Davey's Avatar
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    Re: How to flatten old curled photos

    Not tried this with old photos but have with special order prints that have curled (usually due to moisture) so unsure if it's suitable.

    I covered the printed surface with paper (for small ones that tissue-esque stuff that is over the colour plates in old books) and then added weights (large books, lots of 'em) and left for a few days. After that they were back to their old state and lay flat with no harm done. I did take care to pick smooth covered book for the one lying against the photo either side. Maybe piece of felt would do it especially if you've only got material bound books of a suitable size.

    No doubt someone has a better method though but this might be worth thinking about.

  5. #5

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    Re: How to flatten old curled photos

    Restoration of a B&W photo is not easy. Here is an example. Recently I was asked to fix up, scan, edit and print a repaired copy of an old portrait. I was given a heavily damaged b&w print over fourty years old. It was in several pieces, seamed, curled, etc. After careful study I decided to make a painting from the studies I made of the remnant rather than trying to restore the photo.

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