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Best Paper for Giclee Printing

Giclee Prints - What they are. How to make them.

High quality, fine arts, archival images output by inkjet printers - using premium inks and papers - are called Giclée (zhe-clay) prints by galleries and museums that display them.

Giclée is French for spray and was coined by a printmaker in the 1980s who did limited editions of art prints on costly Iris inkjet printers. He wanted to differentiate between the high quality of his work and the low-quality output of most inkjet printers of the time.

Today, the term Giclée has become synonymous with superior inkjet printing done by and for photographers, graphic designers and artists demanding the ultimate quality for reproduction of their works.

For brilliant, exquisite color and razor sharp detail, Giclée is unsurpassed. It is quickly becoming the new standard in the art industry and has been widely embraced by major museums, galleries, publishers and artists. A Giclée Print is simply the closest duplication of an original artwork or photograph that is humanly, mechanically or technically possible.

While many modern printers are capable of producing the technical elements of Giclée printing such as micro dot size and a wide color gamut, only a limited number of ink and paper combinations can achieve the requisite quality image output that entitles them to be called "Giclée Prints."

Inks for Giclée prints are usually pigment-based due to their superior fade-resistance, but newer dye-based inks from Epson (Claria™ ) and Canon (Chromalife™ ) are fast approaching the longevity of their pigment-based counterparts and can sometimes produce more vivid colors.

Aside from the artistic benefits of the process, Giclée prints offer buyers, collectors and corporate clients significant advantages. Buyers and collectors can have accurate reproductions of paintings or photographs that emulate those in museums and art galleries. Interior decorators and corporate art buyers with limited budgets can easily create dramatic impact for their clients without sacrificing aesthetic quality.

To make the finest Giclée prints, it is important to select inkjet papers that are in the archival or museum grade category. This means they need to be acid and lignin free. Most inkjet media are bright white and likely to have some optical brightening agents (OBA). Papers without OBA are ideal for longevity but they may not produce as brilliant an image due to their cream-colored natural surface. For that reason, there is not a wide selection available. We recommend using quality papers with some OBA as they will produce beautiful images with excellent longevity when displayed under UV protected glass or acrylic.

There are three categories of Giclee Paper

As a rule, Giclée papers are matte, cotton rag, or canvas. Red River Paper offers you the best quality giclee papers that can be found. We source from the top paper mills on Earth - the same mills that make Epson, Canon, and other top big name brands. The secret is that we always pick the best the mills have to offer. Next we sell direct. This means lower prices, better selection, and absolutely superior service.

Sheets and Rolls

With Red River Paper, you can choose from a wide assortment of sheet and roll sizes for your giclee prints. Most papers come in sheets from 4x6 up to 17x25. Rolls are available in 17", 24", and 44" widths and are compatible with any Epson, Canon, or HP wide format printer.

Start below with our list of our most popular Giclée paper options. Questions? Contact Red River Paper. We will help you with paper choice, printer selection, technical support, and just about anything else where we can point you the right direction.

60lb. Polar Matte®

Red River's Polar Matte raises the bar for imaging excellence. This paper brings you professional quality in every sense of the meaning.

  • Paper Tone: Bold Bright White
  • Paper Weight: 60lb (229gsm)
  • Thickness: 10 mil
  • Reverse Side: Plain paper
  • Optical Brighteners: Yes


47lb. Premium Matte®

47lb. Red River Premium Matte has a smooth, bright white finish that produces brilliant color and sharp detail on any inkjet printer. The medium-card weight paper in the Premium Matte family, this paper offers a photo feel and great alternative to popular Epson, Canon and HP photo matte papers.

  • Paper Tone: Bright white
  • Paper Weight: 47lb 176gsm
  • Thickness: 8.5milĀ 
  • Reverse Side: Plain paper
  • Optical Brighteners: Yes


Aurora Art White®

This Aurora features a brighter white shade for crisp color tones, semi-smooth surface, an acid-free base stock and coating.

  • Surface: Semi-Smooth (Hot Press)
  • Made From: 100% Cotton rag
  • Paper Tone: White
  • Paper Weight: 64lb. (250gsm)
  • Thickness: 13.5 mil
  • Optical Brighteners: Minimal


Aurora Art Natural®

Made using fine 100% cotton rag content, Aurora Natural offers the look and feel of fine art paper.

  • Surface: Semi-Smooth (Hot Press)
  • Made From: 100% Cotton rag
  • Paper Tone: Warm Tone
  • Paper Weight: 64lb. (250gsm)
  • Thickness: 13.5 mil
  • Optical Brighteners: None


Palo Duro Etching 315

Palo Duro Etching 315 gives you the classic look of a fine photographic art print. The surface adds just the right amount of texture to your print and will not distract from the details you worked so hard to capture. This OBA-free archival paper is ideal for museum quality and conservation grade prints.

  • Surface: Textured matte
  • Made From: 100% Cotton rag
  • Paper Tone: Natural (warmer) white
  • Paper Weight: 315gsm (84lb)
  • Thickness: 21 mil
  • Optical Brighteners: None


Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag®

Made from 100% cotton rag and featuring a lightly textured soft gloss surface, Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag gives you the classic look of a darkroom photographic print with the performance of modern inkjet technology.

  • Surface: Medium textured elegant glossy similar to Platine prints
  • Made From: 100% Cotton rag
  • Paper Tone: Neutral white
  • Paper Weight: 310gsm / 80lb.
  • Thickness: 16.5 mil
  • Optical Brighteners: None


Blanco Matte Canvas

Real woven canvas with an amazing coating layer for brilliant images that virtually jump from the page.

  • Surface: Canvas double weave pattern
  • Made From: 65% Polyester 35% Cotton
  • Paper Tone: Natural white
  • Paper Weight: 350gsm
  • Thickness: 18 mil
  • Optical Brighteners: Minimal






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