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What Is Teslin Paper?

Updated on September 14, 2014

What Is Teslin® Paper (and Why Should I Care)?

Teslin Paper, known commercially as Teslin® Substrate is made by PPG Industries. Teslin® is a synthetic paper which offers numerous benefits when used in place of normal paper. If you need to make ID badges, membership ID cards, waterproof signage, tags/labels, foldable and waterproof maps, or one of many other applications that require duability and weather resistance - Teslin® is what will enable you to finish your project with ease.

Teslin® Substrate is a truely remarkable material. It is able to be printed on by many different processes (depending on the grade used, see below for more information on the different grades of Teslin): Inkjet Printers, Laser Printers, Xerox, Flexography, and Offset press.

One of the greatest benefits of Teslin® Substrate is it's ability to be laminated and produce documents which have no edge to them. What this means is that Teslin® is an ideal paper for use when making laminated ID cards and signs. There is no edge required to form a sealed, solid document. Teslin® Substrate and other synthetics have been used by Fortune 500 companies as well as many goverments for years to produce high quality ID cards without the need for PVC card printing machines.

What does Teslin® Substrate Look Like?

This video was made to show that Teslin® Substrate does not feel/react exactly like normal paper does. As the video shows Teslin® Substrate will stretch when pulled (like a plastic would). It also tears with much more reluctance than normal paper, and has a grain (meaning it will tear more easily in one direction than the other).

How Can Teslin® Be Used?

Teslin® is extremely versatile and is great for any of the following applications:

Signs (indoors and out)



ID Cards

Maps (Waterproof & Foldable!)


Playing Cards





Underwater Fish Tags



Any many, many more applications that I can't even begin to think of. Every week customers tell me new ways they are using Teslin that I had never even considered!

What Are The Different Grades of Teslin® Substrate?

For most users the main grades you need to remember and know about are:

SPID for laser printers

IJ for inkjet printers

There are about 15 grades of Teslin® Substrate (Paper) all together, however there are only 6 types when you eliminate thickness as a differentiating property. The 6 types are then: SP, TS, HD, SPID, Digital, and IJ. Teslin® Substrate names are typically in the form of "SP 1000", that is the grade name followed by a number. The number is simply the thickness of the material. "SP 1000" is 10 mil thick, this is equal to 0.01 inches, 0.253mm, or .72 points. Similarly SPID 1400 is 14 mil thick, and SP 600 is 6 mil thick.

SP ("Synthetic Printing"): This is the standard type of Teslin® and is ideal for us in offset presses, flexography, and is a great fit with Epson printers which use DuraBrite or UltraChrome (pigment based) inks.

TS ("Thermally Stable"): Ideal for use in offset presses, flexography, and intaglio. This grade is not recommended for use in Laser Printers!

HD ("High Density"): Ideal for use in offset presses, flexography, and intaglio.

SPID: Ideal for use in both monochrome and color laser printers, and xerox machines. This is the only grade which should be used in these printers - for the safety of the equipment, as well as the print quality.

Digital: Specifically designed for use in Digital presses (this is the only grade which should be used in a digital press).

IJ ("Inkjet"): The only grade of IJ is "IJ 1000 WP (water proof)". This grade is specifically designed to be used in Inkjet printers (both those that use dye and pigment based inks). The reason for the strange naming convention is that there used to be (many years ago) a grade simply called "IJ1000". This old grade was coated to enable inkjet printing and was only inkjet printable on a single side. IJ 1000WP on the other hand is not coated and you are able to print on both sides of it with ease.

Teslin on Amazon

Inkjet Teslin Synthetic Paper - 25 Sheets
Inkjet Teslin Synthetic Paper - 25 Sheets
25x 8.5" x 11" Sheets of IJ1000WP Teslin. If making ID badges this is enough Teslin for about 200 ID cards.
Laser Teslin® Paper - 25 Sheets
Laser Teslin® Paper - 25 Sheets
25x 8.5" x 11" Sheets of SPID 1000 Teslin. If making ID badges this is enough Teslin for about 200 ID cards.

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