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Ways Printer Ink Can Cause Feathering In A Printed Document

2010-06-26

Printed paper can be found everywhere, in books, fliers, and advertisements, and is usually used to distribute information to the masses. Most people have experienced printing paper for school or work in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, having picked up an ink-jet printer at their local electronics store. There are many factors that go into a successful print job, however, as there are some details to consider. Not all printers are created equal, and the ink cartridges, as well as paper, used can affect the overall look of the document. Due to this factor, ink feathering can occur, which is essentially the ink smearing on the paper, making it look muddled and blurry.

One of the most common reasons ink feathering occurs is because of the actual paper used. Low grade paper can be extremely absorbent, and this can lead to unwanted ink bleeding through the other side of the sheet. This is especially common in places with high humidity as a constant in the temperature. The other problem can occur with the actual ink itself. Ink-jet printers work by spraying a series of ink dots to form pictures or words. Because there are many different types of ink on the market, some cheap and others very expensive, the actual ink-feathering can vary. Unfortunately, feathering is prone to happen at some time, as too much ink can dispense, with its varying viscosity playing a factor in how much ink feathering occurs and how noticeable it is.

As a preventative, it is important to keep ink cartridges clean with regular cleaning cycles, which help remove unwanted ink by printing the excess on a scrap printer paper. The last reason ink can seep through actually has to do with the model of the printer itself, as a poorly made printer will have predictable results. Luckily, there are some alternatives and possible solutions to consider as well. One of them being to purchase higher grade printing paper which, though more costly, can reduce the amount of feathering due to its waxy coating, preventing the ink from absorbing into the paper as much and instead drying on the surface of the sheet. The other option is opting out of an ink-jet printer entirely and instead focusing on a laser printer which instead uses a laser beam and toner to produce images. The latter, however, is more costly than an ink-jet printer, which is something to take into consideration as well.

In essence, ink-feathering happens mostly due to the paper used (ink will deposit heavily on absorbent sheets), the actual ink cartridges, whether cheaply made or without regular maintenance, or the actual printer itself.

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