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07/20/12 Panther Cloth from Kinetronics is amazing–for photos, cameras, and much more!!

I have been a photographic printer now for over 30 years, the first 15 with the traditional photographic paper/chemical process and the last 15 with inkjets and photoshop. One of the biggest problems that you will run into is the handling of a fine photo. If you are working to mount it either dry or wet mount, the cloth you use to help with the process has to be free of any type of material that will scratch a print. This is especially true with a glossy or semi-gloss print as it seem that just the slightest rub will sometimes scratch a perfect print and send it to the trash can. Over the years I have used the static free brushes from Kinetronics for cleaning my print before and after I mount them. I also use these same brushes to clean my printers as a lot of trash seems to build up in and around the platen area of my inkjets. This trash will eventually fall onto the print surface. When this happens, most times the printer will print over the trash and when you wipe the print the trash comes off and then the ink. Another one hits the trash! But even worse, after you get a good print, is finding a cloth that will not scratch the surface of the print when you are mounting it. Enter the Panther cloth from Kinetronics.

Kinetronics Panther cloth in package
Kinetronics Panther cloth in package

The panther cloth is made from  a black, very soft, anti-static material.  I believe it’s about 10″ x 10″ when fully unfolded.  A single cloth from the company is $6.95 and you can purchase a box of (10) for $41.00 which is a very good savings on the single price.  As good as these clothes are I would recommend purchasing the box.  I was able to work with a 25″ x 45″ glossy print for a dry mount and the process was smooth and generated no scratches.  You can actually use these clothes to press down on the print as you lay the print down (I don’t use a dry mount press)  When I dry mount I  use a spray adhesive and then lay the print down, applying pressure as I do this.  During the process you need one hand holding the print and other to apply slight pressure over the print to help keep bubbles from forming.  I tested the Panther cloth in my dry mounting and found no scratches at all.

I then worked with the cloth to clean a  piece of non-glare glass and it was an excellent result.  The cloth being made from a static resistant material allowed me to clean the glass and have no streaks and also the wiping created no additional static to attract errant dust particles.

Panther cloth close up
Panther cloth close up

In this view you can get a better idea of how dense and soft the weave of the cloth is.  I have used hundreds of different type of cloths in my years of framing, but I have never found one I was 100% comfortable with using to help wipe off a inkjet print (due to scratching issues).  This cloth has many uses.  I would consider it safe for the following:

  1. Cleaning around a large inkjet printer, i.e. Epson 9900 or Canon 8300.
  2. Cleaning a digital camera body free of any and all dust.
  3. Wiping off a camera lens, (Not sure about the glass elements)
  4. Cleaning glass for a picture framing project.
  5. Cleaning a photograph, inkjet or traditional photographic process.
  6. Assisting in a dry mount/wet mount process where you need a cloth to help make contact with the printed surface.
  7. Wiping off a Computer laptop screen or computer LCD of dust and in the process not attracting more dust due to the anti-static nature of the cloth.
  8. Wiping off the plastic covers on a your Car’s speedometer.  These always seem to scratch no matter what I use. I have had great success with the panther cloth on my Volvo and Toyota vehicles.

More than likely you can think of other areas also.  I have just started using these and have already ordered another set of 10 as they are just that good.  I am not sure how they will hold up and what the best way to wash them is but I will figure that out soon enough.

Here is a link to the Kinetronics website:

These are very good cloths and I would highly recommend them to anyone in the digital printing business that is involved with handling, dry mounting, or any other preparation of digital prints.