To Mylar or Not to Mylar?
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Like many, I’ve been keeping my collection in standard Itoya 11x17 portfolios.  Recently decided to try the Itoya Profolio binder with removable pages and love it - so much nicer! So now I’m debating whether I should move my collection into these 11x17 or to put the art in Mylar sleeves and put them into a 13x19. I like the fit a lot better with the 11x17, as there is a lot of extra empty space with the 13x19.  However, as do like the added protection and the fact that a I can place them along side some of my larger pieces that won’t fit in an 11x17.

But back to my main question. Is Mylar overkill in this situation? Are the Itoya pages just as good on their own at protecting the art? The removable ones seem to be a bit better quality than the standard portfolio.  I also heard many times that art should not make contact with glass in frames.  Would the same apply to Mylar or other plastic making contact with the art? Any chance, they could do harm?  I’m probably over thinking things, but appreciate all of your feedback.

 

Thanks!

Jay

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2022 at 12:54 PM, Jay Sing said:

Like many, I’ve been keeping my collection in standard Itoya 11x17 portfolios.  Recently decided to try the Itoya Profolio binder with removable pages and love it - so much nicer! So now I’m debating whether I should move my collection into these 11x17 or to put the art in Mylar sleeves and put them into a 13x19. I like the fit a lot better with the 11x17, as there is a lot of extra empty space with the 13x19.  However, as do like the added protection and the fact that a I can place them along side some of my larger pieces that won’t fit in an 11x17.

But back to my main question. Is Mylar overkill in this situation? Are the Itoya pages just as good on their own at protecting the art? The removable ones seem to be a bit better quality than the standard portfolio.  I also heard many times that art should not make contact with glass in frames.  Would the same apply to Mylar or other plastic making contact with the art? Any chance, they could do harm?  I’m probably over thinking things, but appreciate all of your feedback.

 

Thanks!

Jay

There's really no comparison between the poly pages that make up itoyas and mylar polyester film if archival protection is the goal. 

Also, you'll find (if you haven't already) that the 11x17 size Itoya limits the types and publishers and eras of published art you can store. Standard DC size pages are slightly larger than Marvel and other publisher pages and will not fit easily in an 11x17 Itoya, which is why most people have moved to 13x19. 13x19 will fit pretty much everything from the late 60's forward that's a single page except for specialty pieces and outlier large items. 

Back to mylar, its technical name is "archival polyester". Various Library of Congress studies have shown they are appropriate for indefinite storage and preservation of documents.  

Edited by comix4fun
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On 5/30/2022 at 1:54 PM, Jay Sing said:

Like many, I’ve been keeping my collection in standard Itoya 11x17 portfolios.  Recently decided to try the Itoya Profolio binder with removable pages and love it - so much nicer! So now I’m debating whether I should move my collection into these 11x17 or to put the art in Mylar sleeves and put them into a 13x19. I like the fit a lot better with the 11x17, as there is a lot of extra empty space with the 13x19.  However, as do like the added protection and the fact that a I can place them along side some of my larger pieces that won’t fit in an 11x17.

But back to my main question. Is Mylar overkill in this situation? Are the Itoya pages just as good on their own at protecting the art? The removable ones seem to be a bit better quality than the standard portfolio.  I also heard many times that art should not make contact with glass in frames.  Would the same apply to Mylar or other plastic making contact with the art? Any chance, they could do harm?  I’m probably over thinking things, but appreciate all of your feedback.

 

Thanks!

Jay

Mylar is better than the plastic in the Itoyas, but that doesn’t mean you need it, as the Itoyas are also neutral. I think the most important questions are whether you are keeping them in a dark, dry, cool place. Moisture, for example will ruin anything. So can bright sunlight, probably even with protection. The sheeting in the Itoyas will provide protection, at least if you air them out occasionally. A good incentive to actually look at what you own every once in a while. 
I have a mix of storage books. Since I would rather not throw anything out, I keep the cheaper, smaller stuff in the Itoyas I already own. For newer things, I usually use the 13x19 sizes, and if possible, fit the art into Mylar slips first. I also have an oversized Itoya which theoretically would hold a double cover, although, it is really a little too small. Everything else fits in there, in Mylars as well. 

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Posted (edited)

I recently found out that Itoya is doing a new Itoya sized 12"x18" which is perfect to store art that has been placed inside an 1x17 Mylar 4mil mylar from EGerber. I like to have the best protection for my collection so I have purchased 300 mylars sized 11x17 and several of those new Itoya's. A friend of mine recenlty showed me a zippered Itoya that has clearer plastic sleeves which also makes the art pop better so now I am debating if I should also look for those type of Itoya Portfolios. 

Here's a link to those new 12x18 Itoya's in case you are interested in purchasing those.

https://www.dickblick.com/items/itoya-original-art-profolio-18-x-12-black-portrait-24-pages/

 

 

Edited by timguerrero
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Thank you for the input.  Yes, I've found the 11x17 standard Itoyas to be a little too snug for some of my artwork. Which is the reason I searched and found the Profolio binders.  The removable pages are a bit wider, lay more flat, a bit sturdier and have better clarity.  The binder itself it a bit more rigid as well. Good to know there is an 12x18 standard. That might have solved some of my issues early on.  But after finding the binders (which also allow me to easily rearrange things), I think I am just going to use the standard Itoyas for less expensive commissions and prints. It looks like, until they come out with a 12x18 binder, the best thing is to go for the 13x19 binder with mylar.

For those that do use mylar, do you tape the flap down? I find the flaps a little hard to work with without a backing board, as taping them down tends to create a little bulge. I have just been inserting the open mylar into the sleeves being that they are shy of 19" tall. I suppose, if I did switch to a 13x19, I could just trim off the flap.  Just curious what everybody else is doing.

open mylar sleeve - Copy.jpeg

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On 5/31/2022 at 12:00 PM, Jay Sing said:

 

For those that do use mylar, do you tape the flap down? I find the flaps a little hard to work with without a backing board, as taping them down tends to create a little bulge. I have just been inserting the open mylar into the sleeves being that they are shy of 19" tall. I suppose, if I did switch to a 13x19, I could just trim off the flap.  Just curious what everybody else is doing.

open mylar sleeve - Copy.jpeg

If you purchase the archives mylar from EGerber they are 4 mil mylar and have no flap which is great to store the art without having to tape it. I also find if you use the 2mil bags with flap and bend the flap it may inconvinience you when trying to take the art out as any bends in mylar are permanent and may damage the art.

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13x19 Itoya with mylar sleeves for the art is how the bulk of my pages are stored.

Anything oversized (DPS, early Sandman pages, anything else larger than 11x17, etc) goes into a larger portfolio.  Pages are in mylar as well.

Just having the extra breathing space is nice, even if the art slides around just a little.

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I usually use sleeves with my 13x19 Itoyas.  Not for archival purposes, but just so I'm not physically touching the paper when handling pages.

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Here are the various storage methods I use for 11x17 modern art:

1. 12x18 mylar with no flap and matching archival backing board. The backing boards make these really sturdy to handle as loose pieces which can be stored in a flat file or other container and flipped through.

2. 12x18 mylar with no flap and matching archival backing board (same as above). Art is inserted "upside down" and placed in 13x19 Itoya profolio so that the opening of the mylar is in the bottom of the profolio page in order to prevent dust or other debris from entering the top of the binder. This would likely be considered overkill by most. I like it because the boards give the art more rigidity and help frame the art in the larger profolio page so its not so loose.

3. 11x17 mylar with no flap. Art is inserted "upside down" in 13x19 Itoya. I use this for less expensive art I'm storing in a binder. I generally use a mylar for everything as they're the most archival thing available and make handling the art less perilous.

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I use 24" x 18" for twice-up.

Polyethylene is archival, but not as clear as polyester.  Spend the bit extra so you can see the art.

If you are really anal, in addition to storing the art in a mylar sleeve, attach the art to an acid-free backing board with archival photo corners.  That prevents the corners of the art from being damaged as it moves around in the sleeve, though if you keep all of this in portfolios, they can get heavy.  Nice to keep complete stories in books, though. 

If you are putting art in sleeves with flaps, you are a braver man than me.

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On 6/1/2022 at 5:59 PM, Taylor G said:

I use 24" x 18" for twice-up.

Polyethylene is archival, but not as clear as polyester.  Spend the bit extra so you can see the art.

If you are really anal, in addition to storing the art in a mylar sleeve, attach the art to an acid-free backing board with archival photo corners.  That prevents the corners of the art from being damaged as it moves around in the sleeve, though if you keep all of this in portfolios, they can get heavy.  Nice to keep complete stories in books, though. 

If you are putting art in sleeves with flaps, you are a braver man than me.

Thank you.

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On 5/31/2022 at 9:40 PM, Varanis said:

Here are the various storage methods I use for 11x17 modern art:

1. 12x18 mylar with no flap and matching archival backing board. The backing boards make these really sturdy to handle as loose pieces which can be stored in a flat file or other container and flipped through.

2. 12x18 mylar with no flap and matching archival backing board (same as above). Art is inserted "upside down" and placed in 13x19 Itoya profolio so that the opening of the mylar is in the bottom of the profolio page in order to prevent dust or other debris from entering the top of the binder. This would likely be considered overkill by most. I like it because the boards give the art more rigidity and help frame the art in the larger profolio page so its not so loose.

3. 11x17 mylar with no flap. Art is inserted "upside down" in 13x19 Itoya. I use this for less expensive art I'm storing in a binder. I generally use a mylar for everything as they're the most archival thing available and make handling the art less perilous.

Were are you purchasing the archival backing boards that are those sizes? EGerber is not making them anymore.

 

For DPS I use the 17x22 sized Itoya's

 

On 6/1/2022 at 3:59 PM, Taylor G said:

I use 24" x 18" for twice-up.

Polyethylene is archival, but not as clear as polyester.  Spend the bit extra so you can see the art.

If you are really anal, in addition to storing the art in a mylar sleeve, attach the art to an acid-free backing board with archival photo corners.  That prevents the corners of the art from being damaged as it moves around in the sleeve, though if you keep all of this in portfolios, they can get heavy.  Nice to keep complete stories in books, though. 

If you are putting art in sleeves with flaps, you are a braver man than me.

What is the size of twice up art?

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On 6/1/2022 at 2:59 PM, Taylor G said:

If you are putting art in sleeves with flaps, you are a braver man than me.

Just curious about the dangers of sleeves with flaps.  Is it from the tape when you close them or something else? I just have them laying in a portfolio and it doesn’t seem to pose much of a risk (just kind of looks weird). Is there something I’m missing? Thanks!

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On 6/2/2022 at 7:55 PM, timguerrero said:

Were are you purchasing the archival backing boards that are those sizes? EGerber is not making them anymore.

 

What is the size of twice up art?

E Gerber replaced their board cutting machine with one that doesn't handle big boards, so they don't sell the big boards anymore.

Bags Unlimited has 16-1/8" x 23-1/2" mylar sleeves, and 15-5/8" x 23-1/4" "conservation grade" boards.

These fit into a 18" x 24" itoya.

The biggest twice up art I have is about 15-1/8" x 22-1/8".

On 6/2/2022 at 9:23 PM, Jay Sing said:

Just curious about the dangers of sleeves with flaps.  

Every time you take art out or put it in, you run the risk of damage from the flap.

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On 6/2/2022 at 7:55 PM, timguerrero said:

Were are you purchasing the archival backing boards that are those sizes? EGerber is not making them anymore.

 

For DPS I use the 17x22 sized Itoya's

 

What is the size of twice up art?

Bags Unlimited - Mylar / Boards

They have bigger bags / boards for DPS, twice up, etc as well.

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