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Apr 14, 2011

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Joto’s CL Hard-Surface Laser Transfer Papers

From Corel Draw Help Magazine April 2011 Edition

Excellent Quality and Reliable Operation on a Wide Variety of Hard Surfaces

By Bill Leek

Major developments continue to occur in the Color Laser Transfer segment of our market!! Do you want to take advantage?

Joto has recently introduced two types of hard-surface transfer papers for color laser printers.

CL HARD SURFACE I is designed for trouble-free transfer to ceramic mugs, tiles, award metal, glass, vinyl, plastics, magnetic sheeting, and many other smooth, non-porous materials. HARD SURFACE I transfers only the toner to the substrate. It works best with full-bleed images.

CL HARD SURFACE II allows for consistent transfers to wood, leather and other porous surfaces. In addition, it can be used with glass, crystal and acrylics. It covers the porous surfaces with a very thin transparent film that provides scratch resistance. With proper application pressure, the original texture of the substrate is retained. Like CL I, CL 2 works best with full-bleed images.

Most other suppliers offer only one hard-surface paper type for all surfaces. Joto’s concept of offering 2 paper options that match a wider variety of transfer applications is far superior.

Both CL I and CL II incorporate a heavy backing paper and coatings that do not slip in the feed rollers. This allows smooth, jam-free operation in high temp, oil-less fuser color laser printers. All my testing was performed using an Okidata C6000 set for LABEL1 paper mode. The paper was fed through the front multi-purpose tray. Using this configuration no misfeeds or paper jams occurred during the testing period.

The more recent versions of the Okidata I would recommend are the C6150 and C610n models. There are other color laser printers with excellent graphics quality and speed. I prefer the Okidata models for transfer printing as they offer the best jam-free paper path. In addition, Okidata toner is the most durable for both fabric and hard surface applications. Unlike sublimation inks, both the color toner and Joto papers have an extended shelf life.

SUCCESSFUL TESTING

I tested both papers with a variety of substrates with excellent results.

FIRST, AND MOST IMPORTANT, THERE WERE NO PAPER JAMS!

Jams with paper melting around the hi-temp fuser rollers have proved to be the Achilles heel of many other transfer papers. If you’ve ever spent an hour cleaning a fuser you’d appreciate this performance.

SECOND, THE IMAGES TRANSFERRED COMPLETELY
with no toner left on the transfer paper backing. Several tests were run to test this:

Solid color, full-bleed transfers were pressed to award metal with no signs of air bubbles or specs.

Transfers were successfully pressed to glass with a heavy textured surface.

Ceramic, Bisque and Tumbled Stone tiles were pressed. Transfers were complete in all instances. All edges and corners of the tiles were evenly covered. There was no pooling of melted toner in the natural cracks of the stone tiles.

Both wood and leather transfers were successful. Both fine and medium grain woods were utilized. The finish on both surfaces was excellent.

THIRD, PAPER RELEASE WAS EXCELLENT.

Many hard-surface transfer papers will leave a residue of coating and/or backing paper when the paper is peeled away. The temperature range for successful peeling can often be very narrow. (Peel too soon and you get incomplete transfers. Wait for the substrate to cool too long, and the transfer paper will stick to the surface.) In all my tests, both CL I and II released and peeled easily every time.

FOLLOWING GOOD INSTRUCTIONS FOR GREAT RESULTS

Joto has spent the time to develop good detailed instructions for applying the papers to each type of hard substrate. Following those instructions for the printing, pressing, and peeling steps is essential for consistent results. Don’t experiment or take shortcuts. Joto provides inexpensive foam pads to optimize the pressing step.

OPTIMIZING GRAPHICS AND COLOR

The Okidata printers provide good, but not great color. Writing specific Okidata ICC color profiles for Corel can greatly improve both the accuracy and gamut of your color images. Color Laser Printer images and lettering are inherently crisper than sublimated transfers. Using plug-ins I previously reviewed for Corel, you can now add details, contrast, and color boost to your finished products.

CONCLUSIONS:

The overall performance of the two Joto CL Hard Surface transfer papers was excellent.

Steady improvements in Color Laser Transfer Paper have established a very viable and cost- effective method for color digital decorating. Color Laser Transfer is particularly effective for small to medium shops that cannot afford large capital expenditures.

It is imperative that you select the right laser printer with a fully compatible set of transfer papers. The Okidata printers and Joto hard-surface papers are a winning combination. The other key element is to carefully follow instructions. That’s up to you. You will be amazed at the quality of the color products you will create.

For more information and samples, go to www.jotopaper.com.