User Tools

Site Tools


MT: Michael Posted: 2 July 2007, 10:14 AM

I've posted the following on the (US) o-map forum in response to a question about the synthetic paper Tyvek.

“The consensus is that Tyvek is only suitable for offset printing. Pity. I have a special edition of a NZ topo map, printed (offset no doubt) with a topo on both sides covering the Tararua Ranges, a popular tramping area near the capital Wellington. It's at least 20 years old, has been well used. There is no sign of the ink coming off, even on the folds!

“For laser printing there are synthetic papers that work aren't there, but they are quite expensive. Latest on the NZ market is marketed by a digital map provider and I suspect that it is actually something else “rebadged”. It's called “Toughprint” and there are versions for inkjet and laser. Not so far used in actual competition. Costs NZ$2.50 a sheet, that's about USD1.50-2.00.”

End of quote. I don't as a rule use this forum for commercial purposes and the following is intended as a service to the orienteering community. (a) Toughprint is available from (among others) MAPsport, but only in A4 size. When using it you may need to change colour settings in OCAD, they have been a bit pale in my inkjet tests. (b) MAPsport is running low on A3 70-micron minigrip bags, and is facing the difficult decision on ordering a new manufacturing run (min 7000) when synthetic paper advances might make stocks obsolete overnight:-))

MT: Greg Posted: 2 July 2007, 10:41 AM

Waterproof maps have been used for years in Switzerland, for WOC they had to also use bags as there were complaints before hand. I've experienced these maps and I think a bag is still better, if you get mud on the map it can stain it and make it impossible to read.

MT: Michael Posted: 8 April 2010, 1:00 PM

I've been copied on some correspondence about synthetic paper types between Selwyn Palmer and ex-DOC member Ken Dowling. Do you want to summarise here Selwyn?

One aspect of interest is the colour brightness. While there are many variables, I happen to have a Naseby map printed by DOC's printer on synthetic paper and also by OHV and WOC's printer on standard paper, I think its 100gsm Colortec. The colours on the synthetic paper are not as bright as those on the standard paper. (This may have led some competitors to mistake medium green for light green or at any rate to not treat it with the respect it deserves:-))

It's something to take into consideration, there are many advantages of synthetic paper. What did you use for the nationals maps DOC?

MT: Selwyn Posted: 11 April 2010, 8:38 PM

To summarise Ken Dowling's (Australia) comments on waterproof paper with my own comments thrown in.:

Teslin has been commonly used in the past. It is intended for off-set presses, and used in a digital printer it did not happily auto feed and in one case each page had to be hand fed into the printer.

Yupo & Tyvek: older type of paper best suited to off-set printing. Absorb mud and blood easily. I think it was one of these papers that were used for the original mountain marathons at Tongariro National Park.

Durapaper (Oki) and Nevertear (Xerox) appear to be the same paper. Generally works well in the colour laser printers AOC are using but it's advisable to loosen the edges like a pack of cards before feeding into the printer. It's a little bit creamy and that has resulted in about 2 negative comments, far outweighed by the positive comments. In Auckland we have been using 120gsm thickness. No tearing problems experienced by orienteers in the field, but I have managed to tear it in one direction with some effort. Current price for this paper in NZ is about 80c to 90c for A4 and a bit more than double that for A3.

Aussie comment: Nevertear is by far the strongest of all the above papers. But it proved unsatisfactory in the wet at a 2008 Castlemaine event and again on Day 3 of the 2008 Xmas 5 Days. When wet from rain or sweat, toner lost adhesion when the map was scraped on trees or rocks. It is also quite springy which hampers folding.

Pretex is made by Neenah Lahnstein in Germany. It comes in an uncoated range (30.090 and 30.120), 90gsm and 120gsm and which works well in off-set presses and also digital printers but still has the problem of absorbing mud and blood. It also comes a coated range (50.100, 50.120, 50.150 etc. ), and Ken says “being coated both sides, it is usable only on some late model, production quality digital presses. It is suited to major events where all aspects are more critical. It is proving very acceptable to date, examples being Bushrangers Carnival, varying weather - 9 events, 4,600+ maps Cyclic Navigator enduro mtb-o, wet. 66 SRA3 maps. NOL Castlemaine, humid. 331 SRA3 sheets. Pretex is widely used in UK, but they seem to use the uncoated paper. B&F Papers in NZ can import Pretex. The price quoted for the Pretex paper 120gsm was: A4 NZ$274.00 per 1000sheet, A3 NZ$548.00 per 1000sheets. However it has to be imported as B&F papers do not keep it in stock in NZ. A minimum order is $5000 Euros, probably at least $15,000NZ if bought through B&F papers. They do have other customers who spasmodically order in such big quantities and are happy for orienteering to add its smaller order onto one of those. B&F posted me their last 3 sample sheets. I will do a test print on the OKI and Epson printers I have at home on a single sheet and am happy for someone to test it on other makes and models of printers. The Neenah Lahnstein web site has a list of printers that have used their paper successfully. The useful contact at B&F assured me that Pretex 50 coated series will not tear and will be stain resistant. Another client bought the 90gsm to make pin-on race numbers.

So who from DOC can tell us: (1) What type of waterproof paper and thickness was used for the NZ Champs maps this year. It is a bit thinner than the 120 grade we had used in Auckland. It seems to have stood up well to the rigours of Jeff Greenwood's runs. It is also a just a little bit less creamy than the Durapaper we used in Auckland last year, but not I problem as far as I can see. (2) Where was it sourced from? How much was the cost? (3) What printer(s) was/were used? Looks like a colour laser printer?

MT: Selwyn Posted: 11 April 2010, 9:00 PM

Michael Wood said: “One aspect of interest is the colour brightness. While there are many variables, I happen to have a Naseby map printed by DOC's printer on synthetic paper and also by OHV and WOC's printer on standard paper, I think its 100gsm Colortec. The colours on the synthetic paper are not as bright as those on the standard paper. (This may have led some competitors to mistake medium green for light green or at any rate to not treat it with the respect it deserves:-)) ”

1. It seems a quality paper like ColorTec will always be whiter than a waterproof paper. I guess we might have to work out colour adjustments in OCAD to suit each printer and paper. Then you need the IOF printed Test Sheet 2006 (see ) but if you really want to compare colours you have to get the official IOF printed copy.

2. The Australians have done a bit of work on colour adjustments to suit specific printers and Ken Dowling has detailed data on how to define OCAD colours for off-set printing.

3. The Naseby East map from Easter on waterproof paper clearly has fuzzier definition than the other three maps. It's not just the contours but also knolls, pits and the yellow dots in symbol 402, but it's the contours that orienteers notice. I look through an 8x magnifier. On the Naseby map for rough open (and in fact all symbols) the dot matrix seems to consist of dense rows of dots at an angle of about 30 degrees from vertical. On the other 3 maps the angle seems to be 45 degrees. So was the Naseby map done on a different printer? Was it a different version of OCAD? Please DOC keep us informed.

MT: Southernman Posted: 22 April 2010, 10:59 PM

From Brian: This was the same paper we used at the World Masters in Auss last year, I was so impressed that i got John to source some Teslin 115. He did all the rest. I would have to check cost, can get back to you, earlier in the piece looked like 50-60 cents per sheet. With a few mistakes, we used 2000 sheets (some maps reprinted due to planner error). Very happy with the results, helped immensely that we could cut to sze, in several cases A4 was a little small for the size of map.

Here is my reply from John (our club printer

1: Paper was Teslin 115 gsm 2: It is imported by BJ Ball but it comes in large sheets ( about 8 A4 sheets) and you have to cut these to size.Price is dependant on volume purchased. 3: Was printed on a xerox 1251 and a xerox 700 digital press.

MT: Michael Posted: 23 April 2010, 12:17 PM

Thanks S'man. The short list looks like Teslin and Pretex. Here's a non-technical question for anyone who was at the nationals. Did you get any mud (unlikely I know) or blood on your map and if so was it possible to wipe off? Staining is an issue with some papers.

Any word on why Naseby was different? Regardless of the paper, we are pushing the boundaries of digital printing, when the specification is designed for offset. So we must ensure we get the very best that digital can deliver.

MT: Paul I Posted: 23 April 2010, 1:04 PM

I quite liked the whiteness and smoothness of the Teslin compared to some of the others being used here and in oz. A word of warning though; part way through my course i found that i had been orinteering with two maps which were stuck together, at first i just thought i was seeing double, but no, and apparently several other people experienced the same thing. Lucky they didn't run short of maps. I was going to toss it in the bushes but being a tidy kiwi i dragged the extra baggage around the rest of the course. That may have cost me a win but sometimes one has to make sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty.

In two months time 15000 orienteers will be using paper maps and plastic bags at jukola, so is there really any cost advantages of making bags an endangered species here in nz?

MT: Tane Cambridge Posted: 23 April 2010, 2:19 PM

I got a heap of mud on my map in the long distance (it rained pretty hard the night before!) it wiped off fine, blood was not a problem either…nor was barbed wire fences. Although I didnt puncture the map, it was indented (also idented from folding it) and the printing didnt rub off or become in anyway distored. I was really quite skeptical of the waterproof paper beforehand, and really immpressed how it performed given the significant ammount of abuse I subjected it too.

MT: Greg Posted: 23 April 2010, 3:38 PM

My map 'stretched' on a barbed wire, pain to see the distorted map where it was affected. My thoughts have always been whats wrong with map bags, they do the job and in total the paper, printing and bags are cheaper.

I've always found the colours better when exporting to PDF rather than printing straight from OCAD, but thats just on a home printer

MT: PeterHaszard Posted: 9 April 2016, 9:22 AM

I have read a couple of Posts referring to waterproof maps. My company provides a printing service on Tyvek®. We can take any PDF and reproduce it at any size (up to A0) the result is a map that is waterproof, tearproof, colourfast, can be rolled and folded and written on. Email me at or call me on 0800-737-764

MT: The Map Guy Posted: 9 April 2016, 5:12 PM

We used Tyvek once for clip cards. The paper appeared to be a little greasy and harder to write on than other waterproof papers. The surface is a little on the “rough” side compared with a smoother surface of Teslin which is what many of our maps are printed on. PolyArt is smooth too.

There is no reason why Tyvek can't be used as I have seen graphic images printed on it.

Two questions Peter: 1. Can Tyvek be used in a laser printer? 2. Are you willing to provide a demonstration copy of a printed orienteering map (1:10,000 scale) on Tyvek so others can review it?

MT: Kenny Posted: 10 April 2016, 10:21 AM

Unless Tyvek has changed its composition since the mid 70s, it is probably still not suitable for O. A professional printer member of our club (Southern Navigators) introduced it about 1975. They printed most O maps in the SE. It was used in British orienteering for maybe 1 or 2 years but discarded because it held mud and blood thus obscuring parts of maps.

A pity because it is distinguished by being probably the toughest of all synthetics, and like Pretex is eminently foldable. It cannot be printed on dry toner printers - I'm not sure about wet toner such as HP Indigo. Oce (now owned by Canon)did bring out a wide format ink printer maybe 4 years ago which could print on Tyvek. However the resolution was then unacceptable for O maps and the production cost was still too high.

I will be interested to hear from Peter as to any advances in Tyvek use for O maps.

Disclaimer: Although Jim Russell and I sell Pretex, we do not do so in NZ. Jim and I monitor ready availability of likely looking synthetics for O maps and if we ever find one more suitable for dry toner, we would advise.

mapping/printingpaper.txt · Last modified: 12:50pm Tue 25 October 2022 by