Printing and Converting Translucent Paper and Board (Tracing Paper)

Storage and Use

Translucent paper is produced by beating cellulose fibres to obtain a ‘jelly’ that is then drained and dried. It is more reactive to atmospheric conditions than conventional paper and care must be taken during use and storage.

  1. Before opening, make sure that the package has acclimatised to the press room temperature
  2. For best results, use in conditions as near to ideal as possible – temperature 17-23C,
    relative humidity 45-55%.
  3. Avoid high drying temperatures (IR) as this may induce a curl.
  4. Never leave uncovered. The paper must remain wrapped or covered within plastic between all stages of press and finishing processes.



  • Use fully oxidizing or UV inks.
  • For close register work, a single pass through a multi-colour press is advisable.
  • Ensure minimum damping to prevent extended drying time and paper distortion.
  • Fount pH 5.0-5.5.
  • Alcohol can be increased to 13-15%.
  • Spray powder 15-20. Non-vanishing advisable.
  • Do not use water-based emulsion varnishes.


  • Fine screens can be used.
  • Aqueous-based inks must be applied sparingly as distortion may occur.
  • Avoid high temperature drying.


Over 135 g/m2, pre-creasing is recommended. Translucent paper does not delaminate so the usual calculations based on thickness may be inappropriate. We recommend experimentation to find the best combination of channel width and depth and creasing rule. A white crease can appear on folding or embossing.


Translucent paper is extremely dense; do not use a newly sharpened blade.
A slightly dull but polished 23 bevel angle is ideal. Cut in small stacks (5 cm max).


Translucent paper saddle stitches well. For adhesive binding, the spine should be parallel to the grain direction.Use hot melt adhesives for best results. Aqueous-based adhesives may cause distortion

Laser printing

  • Should give good results
  • With high speed machines, the paper can curl owing to warming up. A pre-test is recommended.
  • Not guaranteed for pre-printing.

Inkjet printing

  • Excellent results can be achieved with mono inkjet. A pre-test is recommended.
  • Drying time may be extended.
  • Good results can achieved with hot foil blocking. Consult foil suppliers for best temperatures and foils.
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