Translucent Vellum paper & Letterpress

I’d like to know if is possible to print on Translucent Vellum using rubber based ink and/or oil based ink?

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

Yes, you should have no difficulty printing on translucent vellum paper with standard inks. You should test the ink on the paper first to determine the drying characteristics, You might have to add a touch of drier to the ink.

If, however, the material is a plastic, or has a plastic coating, you would have to use an ink designed for printing on non-porous surfaces and plastics.


Oil based inks would be suitable for this task, with the right amount of drier added, pref. three way drier.

I do not recommend rubber based inks; you should note- rubber based inks set by absorption, and dry by oxidation.

The ink would be affected by the non-absorbant characteristics of the substrate in this case. I have seen this happen before and seen the frustration it caused. I allowed a friend to print a job on my No. 4 once and he suffered from the incompatibility of these very two materials, and we solved the problem by adding three-way drier to some oil based ink.

I bet normal cobalt would work too, but three-way is the stuff to use in this case IMHO.

I would use oil base or oxy dry inks. I ran some opaque white rubber based on soe glama and months later it was still not dry.

Oil base is the way to go, use dryers with care, a tiny little bit will go a long way. Do a draw down of your ink on the stock, and check how it sets up. Okay they still sell 3 way dryer, but since they took the lead out a long time ago, what is the chemical that replaced it? For a while Van Son sold 2 way dryer, the mixture was manganese and cobalt in a mineral oil/varnish type base.

Chuck- good question. I’d be interested to hear the answer as well. I thought there was cobalt, manganese, and some kind of catalyst (that wasn’t a metal, more like the stuff in epoxy), but I could be wrong about that….