How do you dry fibre based (FB) paper?

Flat bed FB dryers, such as the Maco Ecomat TP5060 FB are the best way to dry FB papers.The Maco dryer works well with no curly edges produced. It is very expensive though, last time I looked it was over £900.

I also have a Buscher 24 x 20 inch FB dryer that hasn’t been used much from new (it looks like it is new). Bought a few years ago as a backup but not needed very often. It is the same principle as the Maco but cheaper construction, both are thermostatically controlled, have a metal drying platen and stretched cloth to hold paper flat while drying. The Buscher is double sided (as in 2 drying plates – 1 on top and another underneath, both with identical construction) so you can do 2 lots of prints at the same time. The Buscher gives curly edges unless very carefully controlled. These flat-bed dryers work best if low heat (around 40C) and longer times are used (40 to 60 minutes per print).

Other ways include placing prints face down on mesh drying screens (face down so that gravity flattens the natural curl of the paper – the Les McLean way). Hanging prints on a washing line in pairs back to back (the Ilford way). Squeegeeing prints onto a sheet of perspex so that they dry flat; the perspex needs to be free of scratches or the dry print will be difficult to remove (also used at Ilford).