Watermarks Printing Knowledge

Watermarks are often added to paper as a means of identifying the manufacturer, adding a security feature to the paper, or providing a customized design for the customer. Many higher end papers are manufactured with a watermark incorporated into them. The watermark usually depicts a logo, a description of the paper type, or the mill where the paper was produced. A personalized watermark may be ordered but it may not be an option with all manufacturers. Also, manufacturers that offer it may have certain restrictions such as  a minimum order and longer lead time. If you wish to have a personalized watermark, keep in mind that the expense may not be justified unless your order is of a large quantity. The set up charge for the paper mill will probably be the same regardless of the quantity, in which case you forms vendor may pass on the cost to you.

Examples of Watermarks

Wire Watermarks

Wire watermarks are produced by attaching a wire pattern to the mesh of a paper mold. When the water drained from the paper pulp, the layer of fibers over the raised wire pattern in the mold are thinner than the rest of the sheet. When the sheet is pressed and dried, the thinner areas result in a pattern that only shows clearly when held up to light.


Light and Shade Watermarks

Light and shade watermarks are formed from relief sculptures impressed into the woven fabric of the paper mold. The image to be copied is carved in wax and this wax model is used to cast male and female plates. Heated wire fabric is placed between the two plates and then the plates are pressed together which caused the wire fabric to conform to the shape of the image. When paper is cast on this type of mold, the raised areas cause the paper to be thinner and the recessed areas result in thicker paper, which creates a light and shade design.


Dandy Rolls

In order to produce watermarks on a continuous roll of paper, a "Dandy Roll" is used. This makes an impression like a watermark by rolling over the damp paper just as it come off the wire cloth of the paper machine. Dandy rolls can contain simple or intricate watermarking designs.


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