Mudcat Café message #1154889 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12964   Message #1154889
Posted By: JohnInKansas
05-Apr-04 - 11:16 AM
Thread Name: Help: Personal Songbook question
Subject: RE: Help: Personal Song Book question
It seems it's still necessary for us to find our own "best practices" for preserving (and making portable) our music and notes. Quite a few good suggestions above for different things one can do.

The original question was a request for a more durable paper - and after 5 years (this thread started in 1999) I may have found something that will be helpful for some.

I have looked for/at most of the suggested "papers," and found none that were available and/or were really "good" answers, but a fairly new product has appeared that may work for some.

PPG came up with a new "paper" called TESLIN®, apparently about a year ago. So far, the only commercial source I've found is National Geographic. They sell it as "Adventure Paper," and it is available from Amazon and possibly a few other retail sources. You can also get it through/from a number of "outing/mountaineering" clubs, or from a number of printing supply places. The definitive application for this media is for printing maps, and once the ink is dry it is claimed to be waterproof and rugged enough to wad up in a hip pocket in the field.

The Adventure Paper is an "all plastic" but with a very "paper" feel. It is bright white and can be printed in ink jet printers, and marked with pencil or ballpoint etc. About the only limitation is that it is NOT recommended for use in Laser printers. It appears to be quite "tear resistant," and can be easily punched, folded/creased or wadded up without coming apart.

A couple of test inkjet prints I've made on my small sample show better image quality than on standard paper, approaching very closely what you get with inkjet on semigloss photo paper. With artworks printed on both sides of a page, there is no visible "show through," indicating opacity much higher than on typical printer paper (and even better than some "2-sided" photo paper). Sheet thickness is comparable to normal (US) 20# printer paper, and it feeds nicely through the printer.

I haven't tried the "spilled beer" test yet, but do intend to put a couple of samples outside for our coming spring rainy season to see if the stuff is really waterproof. More on that later, perhaps.

With a list price of $19.95 (US) for 25 sheets 8.5x11 inch, or the same price for 10 sheets 11x17 inch, the price is about the same as what I usually pay for inkjet photo papers - not cheap by any means, but "tolerable" if reserved for situations that need it. Amazon currently knocks a couple of dollars off on the 8.5x11 A size, but no discount on the B size. (I haven't seen a source offering metric sheet sizes.)

I did identify an apparently similar "map paper" available in the UK, but have been unable to find any US source. Specifications I've found for this UK product are pretty limited, so I don't really know how similar it is. Most other durable and printable media are either twice the price, or more (and often with $200 minimum order), are coated products printable only on one side, or require extra (and expensive) finishing processes such as lamination or lacquering.

One source that gives a "typical" pitch on what's available in "durable" media is at waterproof-paper. There are several other places with somewhat similar specialty media, but this one gives a good summary for the kinds that are available and that might be useful to 'catters. At least one of the "papers" shown here is laser printable, if that's your need. They describe the Adventure Paper, which is inkjet only, one that is laser only, and one that can be used in both.

Several people have suggested Tyvex® from the lumber yard. The materials I've been able to find in my local market are not something I'd try to run through my printer even if I could get "page size" sheets cut uniformly enough to go through. Most of the "construction grade" sheet I've found would be very difficult to write on, even with a "Chinese brush." I infer from comments here that different materials are more commonly available elsewhere. For comparison, one source lists printable Tyvex® at 8.5 x 11, 50 sheets, $103.50. Other sources I've found quote around $3.67 per sheet.

My "product experience" with this stuff is pretty limited, but it appears to be something that may be of interest for some peoples' "special needs."