Giclée prints don’t like getting wet!
With the wonders of today’s digital printing, it’s easy to forget that giclée inks are water-based and will run if they get wet. This is not critical with paper prints, as they are normally behind glass in a frame, but canvas prints can be exposed to all manner of risks. The popping champagne cork can cause damage, steam can ‘lift’ the ink, even wiping with a damp rag can affect the print surface. This is also important for artists thinking of ‘enhancing’ their prints by over-painting - but I’ll cover this issue in another blog.
The answer is to ‘seal’ your prints with a protective spray - Hahnemühle produces a good one. But if your canvas is to be stretched, spray it after the stretching to ensure the protective coating gets into the weave of the canvas. If you spray it before stretching, the process of stretching will open up the weave and ‘break’ the protective coating. Your canvas prints will also benefit from the UV protection the spray gives, which is important if they’re not behind glass.