12 julio, 2024

Luster paper: what it is, characteristics and uses

What is glossy paper?

He luster paper, also known as lustrillo, silueta or patent, is a paper that comes in a wide variety of bright tones and that stands out mainly for being very shiny on its surface, while on the other side it is white and opaque. Generally, it is a biodegradable paper.

It comes in many grades, types, and sizes. Usually, it is sold in the format of square sheets, although some come in rectangular sheets. It is a paper widely used in school crafts, for the creation of origami, wrapping, celebrations, parties, costumes, gifts, compositions, lining notebooks, as well as for printing photographs.

paper gloss

The shine of the luster paper is due to a special coating process to which it is subjected during its manufacture. The base paper, generally thicker than regular paper, is treated with a clear wax or resin coating that gives it that distinctive glossy finish.

This coating acts as a reflective layer on the surface of the paper. The light that falls on the glossy paper is reflected more intensely thanks to this layer, which produces a glossy effect and a striking appearance. The colors look more vibrant, which is why it is a popular element in school crafts and graphic arts.

Using a goniophotometer

The goniophotometer measures the reflectance of light at various angles, taking into account an angle of incidence of 75 degrees to a line normal to the surface of the paper. The gloss measurement is given as a ratio of peak reflected intensity.

The gloss of luster paper is also measured by comparing the intensity of the paper’s reflection to a standard, such as black glass. A related measure is reflectivity.

The theory is the same, but the measurements are carried out differently. In this case, the incident light is filtered out, so that the color and lightness of the paper can be characterized by its reflectivity at various wavelengths.

The gloss of a paper is measured by illuminating the sample with a source 45 degrees to the surface of the paper and filtered at 457 nm, and a photocell at 90 degrees to the surface of the paper.

The instrument is calibrated using magnesium oxide, with a reference of 100. The gloss of the luster paper is measured by the ratio of light reflected from the paper to light reflected from magnesium oxide.

paper opacity

Opacity is the ability of paper to block transmitted light. The instrument used to measure this property takes a measurement of the light reflected from the sample placed in front of a white standard, relative to a measurement of the light reflected from the sample placed in front of a black standard.

Luster paper is glossy, reflects light, and has no ability to block transmitted light, instead it reflects the glare of light.

luster paper for photos

Luster paper is one of several photo paper finishing options, which has both pearlescent and satin qualities.

The luster finish is quite peculiar, used by a small number of manufacturers, often in their professional range. It produces vivid colors with sharp details and black-and-white output with rich blacks and smooth tonality.

Naturally, the quality will vary depending on the supplier and the qualities of the paper in terms of weight, wax or resin coating and other aspects.

Luster paper contains low levels of glare, but nowhere near the gloss levels that a glossy finish paper has. Therefore, it is often described as a «semi-gloss» finish.

It’s a combination of glossy and matte that becomes very useful when the photo is viewed from various angles (such as an image displayed in a gallery) and under certain lighting conditions.

This type of paper isn’t to everyone’s taste, due to its soft gloss properties and its categorization as «professional paper,» which often means it’s not the cheapest option.

gloss surface

The gloss surface is also called satin, pearl, and sometimes semi-gloss. The photographic industry term for gloss is “E-Surface”. Luster inkjet paper has a repeating textured surface. This texture has two important functions in a photograph:

Allows the paper to better resist handling.
Reduces the direct reflection of light towards the viewer. This reduces glare and makes the image easier to see at all angles.

Glossy paper generally offers the widest color gamut and best resolution, but can generate some glare which can be a problem under certain lighting conditions.

This paper is excellent for photos that are handled in the open. They can show fingerprints, but they are usually quite durable, to the point that fingerprints can be easily erased without damaging the prints.

Profiling luster paper is often easier, as this paper offers “no compromise” quality that truly brings out the best in color and resolution that a printer can offer.

They are often not the best option, as they can sometimes stick to the surface that is mounted against the printed side of the paper.

Differences between matte paper and luster paper

The difference between matte paper and luster paper is mainly the gloss. This difference is more apparent when the sheets of paper are exposed to light. The two types of paper look and feel different to the touch, but are actually made in a very similar way.

Matte paper uses the same chemical coating as glossy paper, only more is applied to it.


Patent paper. Recovered from sadipal.com.
What is the difference between matte and glossy paper? Recovered from mgxcopy.com.
6 Common Types of Paper to Use for Crafts and Prototyping. Retrieved from makezine.com.
Paper Characteristics. Retrieved from surrencystudios.com.
What Is Luster Photo Paper? Recovered from photopaperdirect.com.

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