Smooth non-cotton cover stock paper opinions

(doesn’t have to be non-cotton, just relatively smooth)

I’m looking for some opinions on thick cover stock that’s relatively smooth (to print evenly) and can hold an impression (without smashing the daylights out of it)

I generally use Lettra but find it takes a lot of ink and impression to get even color on a large image area due to the absorbency of the cotton and uneven surface.

I got some samples of 130# and 160# Mohawk superfine and found it gives an even ink coverage but doesn’t give much of an impression and found the ink didnt adhere well when overprinting black oil based ink on top of another oil based ink.


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Xpedx has a doubleweight (110 0r 120 lb.) cover in white which prints well, and allows some visual impression although it is a very hard-surface paper cover stock. I don’t know what they call it, but have used it for business cards in the past and it performed well. It has what I would call a “plate” surface, which means it is quite smooth.

As to the overprint problem, that is not the paper, but rather the inks being incompatible. You might have been able to overprint with an ink which had less “tack”. This can be achieved by adding soem varnish or tack reducer to the second color. It is also good to print the first color with as little ink as it takes to create a good image, which reduces the problem to a great extent..

I checked in my stock shelves and found the Xpedx cover stock is their “Brilliant White Cover” and is indeed 120 lb. It prints well, and the smooth surface takes ink very well. When I print it, I’m not going for a very heavy impression, but one certainly can see that it is printed with an impression.

The lack of adhesion when overprinting is caused by the first ink drying hard; the second ink can then not penetrate to the paper and has to rely on purely air drying.

It is an effect known in printing trade circles as “chalking”, and in some extreme cases the ink can be completely wiped of the surface.

It can be overcome by hanging the prints so that they are exposed to the atmosphere, printing the second color within twelve hours, or by mixing a little cobalt drier to the overprinting color.