Tips To Printing Vellum Successfully

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Tips and tricks for printing translucent vellum paper from  LCIPaper.com

Can You Print On Vellum? Don’t Worry, We Have Some Great Tips.

We won’t sugarcoat it for for you. Yes it’s true – due to its non-porous surface and its light, delicate nature, printing vellum paper is sometimes problematic. Ink smudge and smear, long drying time, paper feed and paper jam issues – it’s all happened, but it doesn’t have to.

Below, we offer some tips and tricks for printing vellum. Sadly, since all papers and printers are different, there is no cut and dry fix. However, with these suggestions and a little testing on your home printer, you should be printing without trouble in no time.

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Get Familiar with your Printer (and maybe Read that Manual)

We said it above and we’ll say it again – all printers are different, so the best way to know how your printer will behave with vellum is to first know how it behaves with other papers. Use, test, and get to know your printer! Familiarize yourself with the driver, the trays, accepted paper types, print settings, and so on. You might also find helpful information in your manual.

Once you are familiar with the ins and outs of your printer, you will know which settings to tweak, and just how to do that should you run into problems later.

Try Different Quality Modes – Draft, Perhaps?

One of the most common problems with inkjet printed vellum is ink smear. Because vellum has a non-porous, plastic-like finish, ink can take a longer time to dry on its surface, resulting in smearing during or after printing.

The fix? Try a different quality mode, such as draft or quick, which uses less ink. The less ink you put onto your vellum, the less time it will take to dry.

Experiment with Paper Trays

If you have trouble with smearing or jamming during the printing process, try out a different paper tray if possible. Some trays take paper on a roundabout path which may cause these issues. A tray that feeds paper as straight as possible is likely best. If you have it, use it.

Set it and Forget it (Let it Dry)

Yes, sometimes the fix for wet, smearing ink is as simple as patiently letting it dry. Just print it, lay it flat, and walk away.

Choose a Different Paper Type (Plain Paper isn’t Always Best)

Most print drivers have a paper type or media type option, most of which default to plain paper. This is not always best, especially for vellum which is anything but plain. Switching it to something like photo paper or fine art paper may make a world of difference.

This has proven to help not only with ink coverage, but also with paper recognition (sometimes printers can not detect light weight translucent vellum).

Try a Light Weight Paper Setting (for the Laser Users)

This tip is for the laser users who won’t have trouble with ink smudge, but possibly with wrinkling or jamming of delicate vellum sheets.

Laser printers use heat and pressure to fuse toner to paper. The heavier the weight setting, the slower the paper is fed through the printer, the more heat and pressure that is applied. For lightweight sheets such as vellum, as light a setting as possible should be used to avoid wrinkling, jamming, or destruction of any sort of these delicate sheets.

Give it a Rest (Print in Batches)

Sometimes, when printers get hot from extended use, they can start to do do funny things to paper and print quality. If your vellum starts jamming, smudging, wrinkling, etc., give it a rest. Print a small batch, take a break, print again.

Experiment with Different Vellum Paper Brands

If all else fails, don’t give up on vellum all together! Just like all printers are different, so are all vellum papers. Sometimes, for whatever reason, one brand of vellum may not be compatible with your printer and another is.

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