Ink scuffing

I’m printing some large solids for a wedding invitation and I’m finding the ink scuffing and rubbing off onto the adjacent sheet the day after printing. This is brand new ink, ordered as “high body” so it was fairly thick. I realize in hindsight that I didn’t specify oil- or rubber-base and I think I ended up with rubber-base. (I’m only assuming this based on that it didn’t skin over overnight. I’m calling the manufacturer tomorrow.)

If this is rubber-based ink, do I just need to let it dry longer so it won’t scuff, or will I need to run a varnish or something over it to protect it. I can’t have a wedding invite with ink scuffed all over it!

I’m printing on lettra 110#, if that helps.


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I confirmed this morning with the manufacturer that the ink is oil-based. Maybe I just need to let it dry longer?

Confirm that the manufacturer added appropriate driers, then either reduce the quantity of ink used if possible, or if not possible, interleave with sheets of office paper or newsprint to prevent offset and increase drying time in a warm location (above 75 degrees). It may take a few days. Heavy ink layers increase drying time.

All the sheets are drying on a rack, as single sheets. I printed on saturday afternoon, so I’m letting them chill for another day or so. The manufacturer said they should be bone dry in a few days. I’m just concerned because they are dry to the touch and don’t seem to rub with my finger, but they easily offset with any rubbing of another sheet of paper. Maybe I should spray some fixative on them!

Hmmm, I saw this about a year ago when printing wedding invitations with a friend. The invitation had a large black solid, and in order to get rid of that mottling effect that can occur where the paper shows through the ink, we inked very heavily. The job was on Lettra. We used a fast drying ink and after the job was done and fully dried, it would rub against other paper and leave black scuffs.

Basically the problem was the excess of ink required to get coverage, left molecules of ink/pigment that were not actually fixed to paper fibers, but just sitting on top of other ink, and would rub off on adjacent paper. I suspect a fixative is your only option, but I’d wait a few days to ensure the job is, as the manufacturer says, “bone dry” before applying the fixative.

Let us know how it goes.

This is definitely my situation – two large solids, 13x1 and 4x6 – with a double-hit of ink. Matte fixative to the rescue! I should probably print my second color before the fixing…

I’ve now sprayed down the prints with a fixative and let everything dry for a week and it’s still offsetting onto adjacent sheets when it rubs. I need some suggestions on what to do.

overprint with matte varnish

I think you’ll find that unless the ink is dry it’s going to rub off even with varnish over it. The substrate (ink) lets everything on top of it move. Maybe you could make another run of a thin coat of cobalt dryer on top of the ink and let that sit for a day — the dryer should absorb into the ink coating and dry it. But you’ll need to keep the sheets separated while it’s doing that! (I’ve never done that but it should work in theory! ;-)


If you have used oil based ink even with 200% coverage then overprinting with the appropriate varnish will seal it

Does the ink contain alot of the PMS base ink Reflex Blue?
This pigment causes alot of post printing problems. It never seems to completly dry and can scuff and rub off.
The overprint varnish is one option also a matte or glossy verk-o-type(sp) thermographic coating could be applied when ink is wet. This is done with heat so curling can create issues too.

I’m tempted to bring it to an offset shop and have them coat it. The fixative I sprayed changed the color slightly besides not really working. The color is PMS 268. I don’t have my guide at home, so maybe someone else can tell me if there’s reflex blue in it.