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Using Vellum Paper for Screen Printing

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As a company that sells jerseys for various sports team across the nation, we often have the opportunity of printing logos and numbers on the jersey.  In order to provide our services at competitive prices, we have recently decided to find an alternative to the cost for the materials for screen printing.  While many of the choices that we could make could have a huge effect on the quality of the finished jersey, we decided to look for an alternative that would not affect the quality.  The solution that we found was to replace the expensive film for vellum paper.

 Vellum, meaning a translucent white writing surface has been around for a long time.  Originally it was used by the ancient Hebrews and was prepared from animal skins.  A few thousand years later, in the 19th century, a type of paper was create with similar characteristics to the ancient Hebrew Vellum.  This paper, vellum paper, in now available in various colors and sizes.  For a screen printer, this semi-translucent paper seems to be a great cost alternative to the expensive film that can be used to transfer an image from a computer to a screen for printing.

While researching into this alternative, I had to take in to account whether or not this would affect the quality of the prints.  I found that for our setup, this would really have no effect on the outcome of our products.  In our office, we print our digital art with an EPSON R1800 Inkjet Printer.  The quality of the initial print with the given paper will work great with our setup.  The research shows that Inkjet printers do just fine with vellum paper, whereas Laserjet printers don’t seem to work as well for vellum paper. 

 With this discovery, I decided to investigate further in this matter.  One negative effect that the vellum paper can have is that it tends to shrink over time.  This can be a problem if you are printing multi-colored logos.  It can make it more difficult to match up the negatives if they have been filed over a long period of time.  For our business, this tends to not be a problem as most of the logos that we print are only one color, which means that matching up patterns typically is not a problem for us.

 With this decision, it appears that we will be able to save a little bit of money and therefore be able to more easily compete with the other screen printing businesses. Before this, we were paying nearly $1.00 per 8.5 x 14 sheet of film, where as with this new alternative, we will be paying roughly $.10 per sheet. 

So, if you are using an Inkjet printer designing mostly one color prints, go for the less costly alternative to the transparent film and start using vellum paper. 


Wade Boden is the Artwork Director of Robbins Sports, where you can order and have custom artwork done on Basketball Uniforms, Track Uniforms, and Baseball Uniforms.