Pretesting of all finishing operations is recommended. After printing, leave undisturbed for at least 24 hours to prevent offsetting. The finishing environment should be the same as the pressroom; if not, allow the paper time to acclimate to new conditions. The paper must remain wrapped or covered between all stages of the finishing process.
Varnish and Coating: As for all papers, varnishing CT after printing can help to protect the printed area, especially for projects where finishing is complex. However, since the recommended inks for printing on CT dry hard, they already produce a relatively scuff-resistant surface.
Aqueous coatings are not suitable for use on CT, as excess water will cause the sheet to curl.
Embossing: Embossing CT colors will lighten the embossed area. For CT Clear, the embossed area will appear to whiten somewhat. To minimize the potential for cracking, avoid using very sharp tools.
Foil Stamping: When foil stamping on CT, please be aware that large solid areas of foil may be more problematic than smaller areas, because of CT’s relatively dense, hard surface.
The success of foil stamping on any substrate depends on pretesting. The printer should consult a foil-stamp supplier, and pretest on the actual stock to be used, as a wide range of variables (types of foils, complexity of the design, pressure, environment, etc.) all determine the success of foil stamping on any stock.
The first step is to decide what sort of foil effect you want, in terms of color and finish. By showing the foil supplier a sample of the substrate you wish to use, and the foil coverage you hope to achieve, he should be able to determine the best foil and release to use. Then, the printer and foil supplier should identify the correct release, thickness, and pressure to ensure that the foil will work well on the specified substrate. An essential part of this process is pretesting on the actual stock to be used.
A foil that works on one paper is not necessarily going to work on a different type—nor should it be expected to do so. Likewise, a lightweight stock may require an easier release than a heavier weight of the same paper.
Thermography: As with all printing and finishing applications, you should consult with your printer and pretest as necessary. Because this is a dense, hard stock, there is some potential for thermography to smear. If this occurs, slipsheeting at the end of the press is one possible solution.
Scoring & Folding: CT Bond basis weights are natural translucent papers, and thus are fully suited for most folding applications. CT Clear Cover 105# is not recommended for folding as it is a pasted sheet. As with all papers, a fold parallel to the grain is always preferred. This is especially important as basis weights increase: for weights in excess of 30#, a fold parallel to the grain is recommended, as is a rounded channel score with a minimum width of 2.5 times the caliper of the sheet.
Take extra care when folding in low-humidity conditions, or where the paper may have lost moisture during an earlier process.
Binding: Binding should always run parallel to the grain direction. (For extensive information on the importance of grain direction in binding, please refer to our Paper Terms.
Except for CT Clear Cover 105#, CT may be saddle-stitched and even sewn without a problem (unlike the more brittle resin-impregnated translucents, which tend to crack when folded and stapled).
For Perfect Binding, a variety of glues may be used successfully, but aqueous-based adhesives must be applied sparingly. Hot-melt glues are preferred.
Trimming & Cutting: Cut in small stacks; a two-inch maximum thickness is recommended.
Do not use a sharpened blade; a slightly dull but polished 23-degree bevel-angle guillotine blade is ideal. (Because natural translucent papers are very dense, the hard surface could cause a sharpened blade to chip if grinding marks remain in the sharpened edge.)
Likewise, for Die Cutting, a dull blade is recommended, and paper to be die-cut should be put up in small stacks.