Press Packing

I am new to this letterpress thing and wanted to know what people are using for press packing on a table top press. I’ve noticed using differant things creates a differant impression, so what are you using?

Log in to reply   5 replies so far

I dont operate a tabletop press (we run larger floor models), but i would guess that the rules of packing would be the same. The rules of thumb are, stiff packing for a flatter, crisper impression, and soft packing for a deeper, squishier impresssion.
I tend to use a range of stuff from, standard copy paper, to mylar, to thin tissue paper. I really don’t use “official” packing except for my tympan sheets, which are a dense, slick, almost waxy paper stock.
You can find “official” packing from your local printing supplies dealer, and it will be a dense, smooth paper in a range of thicknesses, measured in thousands of an inch, but alot of regular paper is suitable. Start playing around and see what you like.

Thanks for responding, that helps.

I use manila folders and cut up cereal boxes.

In my opinion it’s better to use a fairly hard packing and light impression. Using a soft packing will increase the indentation on whatever you’re printing—and, over time, will tend to cause wear and slurring on the edges of your typeface.

this isn’t the most professional suggestion - but I recently packed my press for a specific project with a small (quite thin) catalog. I definitely wouldn’t use it for every project, but for this one, it was perfect for the deep, cushy impression I was looking for! experiment! there’s not very many WRONG answers.