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As the legend survived – a story of the beautiful paper

In the year 2007, the delegate of the ILFORD Imaging Switzerland announced a successful finishing of the development of a new paper and left us a few samples. It had been really something exceptional – a true baryta paper in the world of the inkjet printing.

There was a very smooth surface with a soft lustre structure, a natural whiteness, an amazing black density and an extraordinary drawing in lightness. It was the first paper, which was worth putting the print resolution 2880 x 1440 dpi on.

A „hidden“ test of two sets of the baryta paper showed that it was very difficult to say which black-and-white prints were developed in the darkroom on the classic ILFORD Baryta MultiGrade and which were printed on the new baryta inkjet (EPSON Stylus PRO 7800 then).

Award collector

A live start of the baryta paper was in 2008, it was named ILFORD Galerie Gold Fibre SILK 310 and it became a favourite of photo gourmets and hobby photographers. The tests showed an exceptional archive potential and more than one photographer pushed the darkroom on the second place for good. This, of course, is not a planned consequence (because the darkroom art is a poetry) but: to see the print head coming over the baryta paper and via “noise” strips making the top-class black-and-white reproduction is also a joy and art.

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ILFORD Galerie Gold Fibre SILK 310 packshot and TIPA association award

By right, this material became, according to the international association TIPA, the best art paper in 2008. In 2010, the ILFORD company abandoned its exclusiveness and the same paper appeared in the offer of the Canson company. And it was awarded by the TIPA the best art paper in 2010. And the third time, when the same material was introduced to the market by the Hahnemühle company, it scored a hat-trick :-).

One thing had made me wonder from the beginning. On the boxes of the ILFORD Galerie Gold Fibre SILK 310 there was no more Made in Switzerland but Made in Germany. I satisfied myself with the answer of the ILFORD colleagues that they have a strong partner in Germany. I did not search for it anymore. The paper was great regardless of the real producer. This indifference to the origin ended in 2013, when the production plant ILFORD Imaging Switzerland came to an end, unfortunately. After twelve years of a successful partnership, FOMEI lost its key supplier of this great material.

Anxiety? No!

We got off the shock early, fortunately, thanks to the quick start of the partnership with the SIHL company (production plants in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and the USA). Our offer of the photographic inkjet media has been historically the widest and, which is also important, „the heart issue“ from the times of ILFORD has been continuing as the FOMEI Collection Baryta SILK 310 :-).

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ILFORD Galerie Gold Fibre SILK 310 earlier, FOMEI Collection Baryta SILK 310 today (packshot and samplebook image)  

Nowadays, the FOMEI Collection Baryta SILK 310 is one of six (!) baryta papers in our offer and is available in sheets 10x15, 13x18, A4, A3, A3+ and rolls 43.2, 61.0, 111.8 and 127.0 cm. Make yourself happy!

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