Paper curlPaper curl is a common problem. Inkjet photo and especially fine art paper on a roll will almost always have curl. The heavier and thicker the paper, the more curl you will encounter and this curl will increase as you get closer to the roll's core.

All paper originates from a roll, regardless of it having been cut into sheets or put on a roll, which means that it naturally has a curl to it. The grain of the paper and its coating will also affect the amount the paper curls - as will the way the paper is stored.

There are things you can do to help avoid paper curl. The most important one is to store your paper correctly, in a cool, dark place away from sunlight. It is good practice to keep your paper stored inside the plastic bag and in the box in which it arrived in, to protect it from humidity and temperature changes and UV damage.

If you are working with media that has pronounced curl there are various things you can try to avoid the print head catching on the paper. One thing you can try when there is curl is to adjust the level of suction against the platen – also known as vacuum strength. You can also widen the platen gap (head height) on your printer as well if increasing the vacuum strength doesn’t prove sufficient enough.

When using a Canon Printer you can adjust the vacuum strength by following these instructions;Paper Information Screen

  1. Press HOME screen and tap the Paper Information area
  2. Tap paper to change vacuum strength on Paper Settings screen
  3. Tap Paper Settings
  4. Tap Advanced
  5. Tap Transport Unit Vacuum Strength
  6. Tap Vacuum Strength, then set the required Vacuum strength

On Canon printers you can set Paper Thickness (Head Height) in the touch screen menu by following these instructions;

  1. Press HOME screen and tap the Paper Information area
  2. Select paper source for setting the height of the Printhead and tap Paper Settings
  3. Tap Advanced
  4. Tap Paper Thickness (Head Height)
  5. Select and tap setting value

Paper de-curlers / anti curl rollers

An Anti Curl roller is an investment. It will allow you to take the curl out of both photo and fine art papers that come off a roll. PermaJet do Anti-Curl rollers that quickly takes the curl out of media. You can see more about them HERE. Anti-curl rollers are for media that has been cut off the roll (as in finished prints or posters) or for sheets.

Top trick with Sheet Media

If you notice paper starting to curl in the box, store the box upside down so that the weight of the paper is constantly pushing opposite the curl. Some people go as far as turning the paper over in the box, but if you do this you need to remember that the printable side is now the wrong way up. I would suggest that just turning the entire box over is probably best and that way when you do turn the box the right way to open the box, you know that your media is printable side up.