Ilford Galerie Gold Mono Silk is an inkjet paper specifically optimised for black & white printing. The surface has been designed to be reminiscent of traditional ‘F-type’ darkroom prints, and has a long tonal range that ensures crisp whites and inky deep blacks. Ilford Galerie Gold Mono Silk is an acid free fibre based paper, 270gsm, with a semi gloss finish that is very close to full gloss. Compatible with dye and pigment inks, so really any modern inkjet printer, but ideally one with multiple black inks and a good black and white printing mode.
For really high impact black and whites you need a crisper white to really extend the tonal range and give maximum contrast to work with. And that’s what Ilford has done with this paper – they’ve created a really clean white finish – the L* brightness is 96 which isn’t exceptionally high but it’s the colouring that just gives it a really clean looking and neutral finish. Optical brighteners are used to achieve this whiteness of course (much like pretty much every traditional BW darkroom paper had OBAs in them!). And, unlike Galerie Gold Fibre Silk (it’s colour friendly sister paper) – the gloss differential is well controlled. And unlike Hahnemuhle’s efforts in this area, the paper curl in initial samples appears to be well controlled as well (I don’t know why but there’s something about the composition of crisp, white papers that causes paper curl!). So it’s got a great tonal range, pleasing classic fibre gloss surface, and good physical handling characteristics.
Put simply, I think that this is the sort of paper anybody really comfortable with black and white images will feel at home with – it’s just the right thing to create that classic mono experience with your shots.
Please note: Specifications are provided as a guide only.
We try very hard to keep these up to date and correct, but if a particular specification is really critical to you, then please double check the specification directly with the manufacturer. Some features may of course have caveats not fully described here.
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Papers are constructed in two main ways:
Resin Coated papers are the modern approach. These use less fibre and replace the fibre with resin (a nice name for plastic). This means these papers are cheap, strong and robust, but tend to be less attractive to the touch and accept less ink. They tend to have a clinical appearance and it's hard to write on the back of them. They tend to be popular in the consumer and wedding/portrait markets.
Fibre Based papers are traditional papers made without plastic, using only plant fibres. These tend to accept more ink and have a more attractive appearance, and these are the papers most of our customers favour.
What is the paper base made from?
In 'gsm' - grams per square metre.
Not, technically, the same as paper thickness, but obviously correlated. The heft of the paper. European art papers are traditionally generally around the 300gsm mark. Asian papers historically tended to be lighter, 100 to 200 gsm.
Papers with a higher GSM tend to have more opacity, i.e. you see less through them.
What is the surface texture of the paper?
We divide this into six groups. We go by the appearance of the actual paper and not what the manufacturer might label the box with!
What is the white tone of the paper?
These days almost all papers are microporous coated - meaning they'll accept inks from both dye based and pigment printers well.
In years past, some papers had a swellable coating - designed to give a greater life to prints with dye based inks but this approach has fallen out of favour.
What ink type (dye and/or pigments) can you use with the paper?
Also, if using pigment inks and you have a choice, should you use the Matte Black or Photo Black ink?
Does the paper contain chemicals in it to brighten its appearance?
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