A look at how they perform.

Occasionally I make labels for electrical projects and I have worked out that if I sandwich my printed label between two layers of sticky quick laminate I get a fair result. The front layer protects the ink which runs when wet and the back layer gives protection from the fixing glue. I wanted some thicker paper than the 80gsm that is usually used for general printing and bought a packet of 140gsm mat coated paper which I was fairly happy with until recently when I bought a sample pack that contained about 10 types of various papers and I learnt that better results were possible.

It is easy to see the coating on glossy paper but determining if a mat coated paper actually has a coating can be difficult if the coating is light. On the papers I tested except the first the coating was only on one side and this fact made it obvious.

I made up a test label and photographed it using my crude close up method. See Low Cost Close up Method

The text shown is Helmet condensed 8 point about 2.3mm high.

No attempt was made to change the printer settings and it may be possible to reduce the spreading by finding a setting that deposits less ink. Keeping the printer setting constant demonstrates that papers do vary quite a bit.

Standard copy paper that is usually used for general printing. cost = 1 unit on a 1-100 scale.

140 gsm mat double sided coated paper rated at 1440 DPI (My first purchase and at an expensive shop) furry but no spreading cost = 50 units.

90gsm mat coated paper rated at 1440 DPI cost = 24 units. I can oil this and use it as a transparency to make PCBs. The slight spreading is useful in that application and the black is really opaque. It is not furry but spreads a little. Notice how the white "V" does not extend to the bottom. in the "A" you can see the lack of resolution in my printer that costs about as much as 100 sheets of the most expensive paper on this page.

100gsm mat coated paper rated at 2880 DPI cost = 11 units. This had a real problem with spreading but only with black ink.

200gsm mat coated paper rated at 4800 cost 30 = units. No spreading and not furry.

240gsm glossy photo paper 4800 DPI costs 100 units. Not furry and no spreading. The white dot at the bottom of the white "V" is clearly shown.

For the small amount of paper I use to make a few labels it is not worth my bothering with mat coated paper and I will in future use glossy photo paper as it is more readily available and all the types I tested seem to have great performance. The main difference I can see in the glossy photo papers used in this non "picture" mode is their whiteness, thickness and backing.

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