Dry Trap

Dry trap refers to a printing issue where a second layer of ink does not adhere properly to a previously printed and dried ink layer, leading to poor ink transfer and uneven color coverage.


Ink trapping failure


  • Multi-Pass Printing: When printing multiple colors or layers in separate passes, the subsequent layers may not stick well to the dried first layer, resulting in uneven color and a patchy appearance.
  • Specialty Finishes: Applying a varnish or metallic ink over a dried base layer can show signs of dry trapping, affecting the final look of the print.
  • Packaging: In packaging prints, especially on glossy or coated surfaces, poor ink adhesion in layered designs can lead to an unsatisfactory final product.


  • Ink Compatibility: Use inks that are formulated to work well together and improve adhesion between layers.
  • Surface Preparation: Ensure that the surface of the first layer is conducive to receiving the second layer by using primers or surface treatments if necessary.
  • Controlled Drying Times: Adjust drying times between layers to ensure that the first layer is dry enough to prevent smudging but not so dry that the second layer can't adhere properly.
  • Press Settings: Optimize press settings, such as pressure and temperature, to improve ink transfer and adhesion between layers.
  • Testing and Proofing: Conduct thorough testing and proofing to identify and address dry trapping issues before full production runs.

By understanding and addressing dry trap issues, printers can ensure better ink adhesion, resulting in higher quality prints with consistent and vibrant colors. Learn more today!