Here are some examples of a decorative design that I created from sample of old fabric.
They are 300 ppi and they print on my Canon Pixma home printer (via Paint Shop Pro 8) at exactly 1.5 inches (approx 3.75 cm) square each.
The little thumbnails above have been compressed by WordPress and will not print very well and, especially if you click on a thumbnail to see the full size version, they may well look much larger than 1.5 inches on-screen.
If you would like to print a sheet of paper, so that the pattern is the “right” size at 300 ppi, the pdfs are here –
(The A4 sheets are enormously ink thirsty, so please do not waste your ink – print a sample to get an idea of the colour first.)
The photo below shows why I used 300 ppi samples and not 72 ppi samples.
ppi matters !
I know I always say this but – whether or not the papers print well and are useful to you (or not) will depend on the paper, ink and printing method used.
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I had a chance to talk to someone who works as a commercial printer earlier this week and I asked him if there was any way to recreate, at home, the non-smudge result found in colour printed books.
SPOILER – Don’t get excited – according to him there isn’t…
After he had stopped laughing – he is a nice man, really he is – he suggested that I have a look at Shackell Edwards website, and then he calmed down and explained a bit…
The universal problem is, it seems, not only getting the ink onto the paper, and in the right place, but making it stay there.
The print finishes that we see in magazines, books, wrapping paper, etc are created by a combination of the paper, the ink and the finishing coating.
It is at this point that I am probably about to become temendously tedious to a great many readers so, dear readers, if you find the following dead boring please skip to the bottom of this post and vote for something more interesting.
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I was asked, a couple of posts back, if I recommended using spray-on fixative to protect the surface of an ink-jet print.
I have heard of this being done and, as it seems to be a widely recommended method, it must work for some people.
I have tried fixative sprays in the past but, as the ones available to me are for fixing looses surfaces like charcoal or pastel to paper, they were not particularly effective on ink-jet ink.
This does not mean that fixative sprays do not work on ink-jet prints, only that I have not yet found one that does.
Anyway, after my conversation with the printer, and imbued (yet again) with the (mad) idea that there must be a way to “fix” ink jet ink to ordinary paper, I tried a little experiment this week.
I printed two samples onto 90 gsm photocopy paper and very carefully applied glaze of –
- Ronseal varnish (this would not smudge on coated paper inkjet paper)
- white, water based, washable,”craft” glue for children (this would sit on top of coated inkjet paper and dry unevenly – it is good for crackle glaze and not much else).
With the following results –
Glue v Varnish on photocopy paper
Admittedly I had chosen to work with a raspberry pink colour that I know, from past experience, runs and smudges far more easily than most other colours.
So nothing daunted I printed another sample and got out my favourite white, water based glue –
This is excellent glue.
If it has one fault it is that it dries very rapidly.
– and tried with that –
I wasn’t nice and careful, I simply wiped the thick glue over the print with my finger. This darkened the ink and smudged it a little bit.
Then I got creative with water proofing for clothing (if you lived in the middle of England, you would probably have a bottle of this under your kitchen sink too !)
The Nikwax effect was… interesting
although I have to say my favourite part was the crumbling, aged effect on the back of the paper –
After the Evo-stick and the Nikwax had dried overnight, I tried the water test…
and came to the conclusion that –
I still hadn’t found the solution…
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A very big thank you to everyone who voted and left comments. I appreciate your help very much indeed.
Here are the results of the poll – equal first are the Circus Procession book and the papier mache Easter egg.
I will not, unfortunately, have time to make two slideshows next week, so I think it will have to be the Circus Procession next week and (if everything goes to plan) the papier mache egg for the Easter weekend.
Please bear in mind that, although I can run through how I make the papier mache eggs, I cannot do a digital download for the mold !
In case you are wondering, I did vote.
To test that the poll was working properly, I voted for the basket for an Easter egg!
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