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Thermal Ribbon Coatings (CSI / CSO)

Thermal Transfer ribbons come coated side in and coated side out. Coated side in, (CSI), and coated side out, (CSO), refers to the side of the ribbon that the ink sits on. The way to tell which side is coated is by unwinding the ribbon past the outer wrap. Once you reach the black ribbon, you will see that one side is shiny and one side has a more matte finish. The duller side is the side with the ink. This is the side that should face the labels when you put the thermal transfer ribbon on the ribbon spindle. Depending on the specific thermal transfer printer that you have, you will either use one or the other.

NOTE: The only difference between ink-in ribbon and ink-out ribbon is the direction that thermal ribbon is wound.

Check the Ribbon Description

Newer industrial printers will use both coated side in and out but mid-range and desktop printers are typically one or the other. If you are confused, the printer specification will list under media – ribbon, the type and the length. Ribbon length is also critical by printer model and range from 244 feet to 1476 feet, and as long as 1968 feet. Taking advantage of the longest length means less ribbon changes. FREE Samples and will help you choose the best combination of thermal ribbon and label. Call us for more information 888-237-8525.

For more information or to discuss your project, Contact Us or call 888-237-8525.

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