Vellum Paper Printing
Table of Contents
Can You Print On Vellum? Yes, with these Tips & Tricks!
Vellum can be printed with an inkjet or laser printer. However, due to its non-porous surface and its light, delicate nature, printing vellum paper may be tricky.
Below, we offer some tips and tricks for printing these translucent, delicate sheets and for tackling common issues such as ink smudge and paper jams. With these suggestions you should be printing vellum without trouble in no time.
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Get Familiar with your Printer
Whether laser or inkjet, all printers are different. The best way to know how your printer will work with vellum is to first know how it works with other papers. Use, test and get to know your printer!
Familiarize yourself with the driver, the trays, accepted paper types and weights, 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 how, should you run into problems later.
Inkjet Tip: Try Different Print Quality Modes for Faster Drying Time
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 longer 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.
Inkjet Tip: Set it & 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.
Experiment with Paper Trays
If you are having issues with jamming, paper feed or even smudging and smearing, try 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.
Experiment with Paper Type (Default Plain Paper is Not 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.
Laser Tip: Try a Light Weight Paper Setting
Similar to changing paper types, changing paper weight settings may be very effective.
Where ink jet printers spray wet ink onto paper, laser printers use heat and a fusing unit to adhere dry toner to paper. Most laser printers allow you to adjust weight or thickness settings so that fusing can be adjusted accordingly. The heavier the weight setting, the slower the paper is fed through the printer, the more heat and pressure that is applied.
Adjusting the weight setting to a lighter one to accommodate lighter vellum has proven to help with print coverage, paper jamming, wrinkling and feed/recognition issues.
(Shown here, white ink printing on vellum place cards)
Print Vellum in Small Batches
Sometimes, when printers get hot from extended use, they 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.
Change the Way You Put the Vellum in the Printer (Turn and/or Flip the Paper)
Yes, this tip may sound odd, but we have printed our fair share of vellum and have seen it work!
Due to how paper is made, paper has grain direction (the direction in which fibers run in each sheet). This can not be seen with the eye, but oddly enough, has been known to affect printing. Sometimes all your print coverage, feed and jam issues can be solved by simply turning your vellum 90 degrees and feeding it through your printer in a different direction.
The same is true with printing one side of vellum vs. the other. Not all vellum brands are the same on both sides. Sometimes flipping your vellum over and printing the reverse side does the trick.
Experiment with Different Vellum Brands & Weights
Just like all printers are different, so are all translucent vellum papers. Vellum comes in a variety of brands and weights. Although one kind may not be compatible with your printer, another may be.
If all Else Fails… Let us Print Your Vellum Paper for You!
If none of these printing tips helped, or you simply don’t want to print vellum at home, let us print for you! Just choose your vellum, send us your file, and we’ll do the rest.
We use high end digital presses to print in black, full color, and white ink on vellum.
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