Saturday, March 09, 2019

Printing on tissue paper

I have been trying for two weeks to print on tissue paper. I'm using an Epson Stylus Pro 3880. The Ultrachrome K3 ink is fairly waterproof on the tissue paper. I can glue the paper down with mat medium, with no running. I'm using architect's tracing paper similar to this. My old notes tell me I taped the tissue paper to the leading edge of a sheet of regular paper and it went thru the printer fine. I even found an old piece of paper that had tracing paper still taped to it. But now the tissue paper bunches up badly when the printer starts to pull it in. I also hear an unpleasant sound that make me think something will break. Not good. I found this video on youtube. This method is working for me now.

I'm also posting photos of the process here in case the youtube video goes away at some point.

To start, cut the tissue paper slightly larger than a sheet of cheap printer paper.

Fold all four edges of the tissue paper over the printer paper and tape down securely. I like to tuck in the edge of the fold so it's very smooth at the leading edge that goes into the printer.

Here all the sides are taped, the tissue paper is very smooth across the front of the two layers of paper. If tape sticks out be sure to trim it off.

Here is my printed sheet. When the paper is first pulled in to the printer I hear tissue paper crinkling. But it does go thru fine. You can see some head strikes on the right, even though I set the gap to "high." I probably need to see if I can make the gap higher.

Edit March 17 - I am using draft mode, 180 dpi now, instead of 360. It's still enough ink and I have fewer smears on the paper.

Above are all my printer settings.


Deborah Wyght said...

that's a fancy printer, neither my Brother or my HP have all of those settings.

eileen2000 said...

Very cool. Thank you for sharing. I hope I get my digital studio set up this year so I can scan things and print things again.

Hilke said...

Thanks for sharing! It is always good to see how these things work for different people and printers. I used the "tape the leading edge down" approach before, but when I wanted to help a friend do it on their printer, it didn't work either. - I'll have to point them here.

It sounds from your description like there was a problem with the transport of the paper? I suppose it can work - or not- depending on where the rollers for the paper transport are for different printing machines.

Cindy said...

Nice tip, Judy! I remember a solution to a similar issue - ironing washi to waxed, butcher paper. Enough tack for the run through the printer, but light enough for easy separation after printing.

Judith Hoffman said...

Deborah - I suppose many printers have different settings. The main thing would be to cut back some on the ink - the ink you need for a nice print of a photo would be too much on tissue paper. Also if you can enlarge the platen gap that would be a good idea. And I use matte ink. I'm not sure if that would matter, I just feel it dries better and I like the look of it.

Eileen - I want to see what you do with your printed things. (-:

Hilke - The "tape the leading edge down" worked on this printer before, I have no idea why it doesn't now. Maybe the rollers age. Or maybe when I had to clean them I messed up something. Yes, with the leading edge taped down the paper did not transport correctly. The tissue paper pulled up in a bunch, it was feeding in ahead of the carrier paper. I'm sure you're right, the way the paper gets pulled in must vary on different machines.

Cindy - I tried ironing the tissue paper to waxed paper sold to make paper patterns for quilters. Someone online said it works for printing tissue paper - iron it on and peel it off after printing. It curled up when I ironed it and my printer is very picky about curled paper. Basically any little wrinkle or tiny bend in the corner gets me a "paper jam" message. So that didn't work. The freezer paper we had in the house had plastic on it, not wax. So I didn't want to iron that. Most freezer paper now seems to not be waxed. I also saw a suggestion to use glue stick in a similar way, but was afraid I would either get glue in my printer or the tissue paper would pull in before the carrier paper. And I saw a suggestion to use some kind of spray adhesive, but I don't like sprays in general. I feel they are not good for the environment and not good for me.