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About ink and paper


The Structure of Paper:

    * Paper is made up of cellulose fibres from trees and other like materials. During the making of the paper, the fibres form a mesh with a 60:40 ratio. 60% of the fibres run in one direction, and the other 40% lie at right angles to the other fibres.
    * Paper is also 5% (average) water. If it weren't it would be as brittle as an autumn leaf.
    * Paper is also chemically treated and finished depending on the end use. For example, newspaper is a very coarse paper, where Bond paper, frequently found in office letters, is a high-grade paper with many finishing chemical additives. The lighter the grade of paper and the more chemically finished, the better the quality.

How the Ink and Paper Work With Each Other:

    * Dye-based ink actually soaks into the cellulose fibres, giving a far richer colour and a wider Gamut of colours. The trade-off is that absolute sharpness in not achievable.
    * Pigment-based ink behaves completely differently. The ink is projected at the paper, the carrier body then evaporates, and the pigment adheres to the paper fibres. This results in a clear sharp image, but the colour does not have the same saturation as for dye-based inks.
    * Different grades or quality of paper will give different results for the same ink type. There are special photographic papers that only give the right result when matched with a specific ink. The ink has a solvent that etches into the paper and the pigment fills the etched area.
    * Paper left out in areas exposed to high humidity absorb moisture and alter the water content of the paper. This can adversely affect the way ink is absorbed into the paper and Bleeding results. The ink is often blamed, where in fact the problem is with the humidity or paper type.
      It is important to set the printer's properties to match the paper being used and the type of print job. The printer automatically adjusts the amount of ink being delivered to match the settings.
    * Using a basic copy paper and setting the print properties to 'high resolution' or 'photo paper', 'gloss paper' etc. can cause quite extensive bleeding problems. Black will often penetrate the paper and show on the back of the page.This is especially noticed if the paper has been printed on the rough side.