Choosing the Best Transfer Paper for Great Output from a MUTOH Printer
Choosing a transfer paper for your MUTOH printer for optimal output.
So, you’ve either bought a MUTOH dye sublimation printer or are looking at one. If you are now looking at transfer paper for a MUTOH printer there are some things you may want to consider.
Raw papers vary in particle size and particle distribution affecting its density and uniformity which in turn affect the absorption and adsorption of ink without any dot gain control while at the same time making the release of the dye uncontrollable as well. MUTOH printers are industrial designed printers designed with high resolution capability to output very high quality images for hard substrates while providing the speed capacity for high volume output, so uncoated papers are not recommended.
The secret sauce in dye sublimation transfer paper is the coating and there are primarily two basic types of coating.
High load or solid surface ‘clay’ coated papers have the most universal applications and can be used on the widest range of finished products. These work well for solid surfaces like metals, ceramics and glass as well as fabrics for soft signage, apparel, home décor and rubber koozies. Clay coated papers are high load papers, they can take high ink loads at print, but then dry fast. They are also gas permeable allowing excess sublimation gas to escape through the paper rather than creating blowouts or ghosting. While they don’t transfer as efficiently as CMC coated paper, they are friendlier to unstable print room environments making it a better choice first time and lower volume users.
High release or CMC (CarboxyMethyl Cellulose/ cellulose gum) coated papers work well for textile applications like fashion, apparel, home décor and soft signage. The high ink release property of these papers means it leaves less ink on the paper, requiring less ink to achieve the same color gamut, therefore reducing ink costs. The ‘high release’ property of these papers means this paper also releases that ink quicker, for less ghosting, shorted dwell times and higher productivity. While CMC papers are slower drying, they are still the choice for high speed printers.
Take a CMC coated paper and add a heat activated adhesive to it and you have Thermo Adhesive or ‘tacky’ paper. This allows the paper to ‘stick’ to the polyester fabric eliminating ghosting with slippery textiles and sports apparel. It eliminates difficulties when using clam shell presses that can shift during pressing causing blow outs or ghosting. It is a bit more expensive than other CMC coated papers and does not stick to hard substrates. It really shines when sublimating pre-sewn clothing, sticking to the garment allowing pressing of the second side while still attached leaving no lightening of the first side, giving a uniform two sided garment. https://www.thinkMUTOH.com/it-is-a-bit-tacky-but-for-me-it-really-is-all-over/?v=7516fd43adaa
Coatings plus, take two.
Take a coated paper and add a special UV inhibitor formulation and you have Kaspar Papir’s Sunpaper. The UV inhibitors in this paper actually gas with the dye sublimation dyes and encapsulate the dye around the layers of polyester fabric fibers, absorbing into the polyester with the dye molecules. So this is not a surface treatment and it needs no additional processing. Print and sublimate as normal to get extended outdoor protection typically double that of unprotected processes.
Special thanks to:
Rob Repasi – who provided the technical information.
Mark Freeman – President Digital Print Solutions, Inc. for providing the information on Kaspar Papir Sunpaper. http://www.kaspar-papir.com/
Need help choosing the right MUTOH wide format printer? Use the link below for assistance. we can walk you though a simple process to make sure you get what you are looking for.