Suitable Pens for Photo Paper

With all the amazing printing technology available at our finger tips, at low cost and with super high quality, we still regularly get asked if and how one can write on the paper with a pen.

Whether you can use a pen on an inkjet coated paper depends on the type of pen and the type of paper.  In all cases, you will find that felt tips will be depleted quicker than when used on ordinary paper because of the high absorption property of the inkjet coating.

Ball Point Pens

  • Matt Paper – Both sides
  • Cast Coated Photo Paper – On both sides
  • Real Photo Paper (Microporous) – Good on the printing side but may not work well on the reverse
  • Transfer Paper – Can be used as part of the transferred image and will remain on the shirt after transferring
  • Stickers – Printing side only

Water Based (dry wipe) Felt Tips

  • Matt Paper – Ok on both sides
  • Cast Coated Photo Paper – Ok on both sides
  • Real Photo Paper (Microporous)  – Ok on the printing side  but WILLL NOT DRY on the back of the paper
  • Transfer Paper – Can be used as part of the transferred image and will remain on the shirt after transferring
  • Stickers – Printing side only but water resistance might be reduced

*Note that due to the high absorption rate of inkjet coated paper, felt tips will not last a long as when used on ordinary paper.

Permanent Markers

  • Matt Paper – Ok on both sides
  • Cast Coated Photo Paper – Ok on both sides
  • Real Photo Paper (Microporous) – Ok on both sides.  When printed on the back, it might take a few seconds to dry completely as there are no absorption properties on that side of the paper.
  • Transfer Paper – Can be used as part of the transferred image and will remain on the shirt after transferring
  • Stickers – Printing side only with good water resistance

If you use pens on paper for artistic effect show us and share your work on our crafts forum.  It will both satisfy our curiosity and will give you a show case for your work ideas, viewed by thousands of our users monthly.

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