Memory Map Toughprint Paper Review - Memory Map Toughprint Paper Review

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The obvious alternative to Toughprint paper is lamination. With suppliers as diverse as Staples and Tesco selling laminators and laminating pouches, it’s easy to obtain a system that can provide the same kind of waterproofing as a waterproof paper. Tesco sells a laminator for £9.47 and 50 pouches for £2.09. Even including the laminator in the cost of the first 50 laminations, therefore, the cost per page is 23p, dropping to 4.2p when you’re just paying for pouches.


The main disadvantage of laminated pages is that they’re stiff, making them difficult to fold or stick in a pocket or bag. Toughprint, by contrast, is nearly as flexible as a regular sheet of paper, can be folded easily and holds its folded shape well. It’s a lot more convenient in this respect, though a laminated sheet holds its unfolded shape better, an advantage for posters and other publicity.


As far as weather-resistance goes, particularly with inkjet print, Toughprint paper won’t make water-soluble prints any more water-resistant than ordinary paper. We tried wetting a sheet after printing it with dye-based Innobella inks from a Brother printer and the ink still ran. It appeared to be mainly the black ink, but this will vary from brand to brand.

(centre)Toughprint paper after being exposed to water(/centre)

Pigment-based inks, like those used by Epson, are fully water-resistant and a page printed with them is pretty much waterproof. There’s some weakening of the paper when it’s wet, but it remains intact and, for example, a map printed on Toughprint and caught in the rain will still be usable. The laser Toughprint, run through a laser printer, doesn’t have any problems with water-fastness, as the particle-based toner is heat-sealed onto the paper. The paper had no problem with the heat from the laser printer’s fuser.


A laminated page has a big advantage over Toughprint in water resistance, of course, as even a dye-based inkjet print is rendered completely waterproof by sandwiching it between clear plastic sheets. Producing a protected page by laminating is very much a two-stage process, though, where printing on Toughprint is no more long-winded than a print on regular paper.


Although Toughprint cuts like paper, it’s very hard to tear it, with the paper stretching rather than ripping. It also resists scrumpling and, apart from the creases, is still fully intact after being crumpled many times.

Verdict


Toughprint paper does pretty much what it claims. It’s water resistant, close to tearproof and generally…well tough. It doesn’t make water-based print waterproof and it’s more expensive than using a laminator, but it’s a lot more convenient, if you want to be able to pop the pages in the pocket of a cagoule.

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