In printing, as in painting, cockling refers to the wrinkling of paper in areas with high ink or paint coverage. During the drying process, the ink or paint causes paper fibers to swell. The paper deforms: it ripples and gets a wavy surface. Cockling can also occur when paper is stored in a humid environment. When the uneven structure is larger and more uniform, the effect is called waviness instead of cockling.

There are a few solutions to avoid cockling in printing:

  • Paper with a higher weight may be more suited for the job.
  • In inkjet printing using resin-coated (RC) paper will help since this doesn’t absorb the ink solvents as much as regular paper does.
  • Reduce the amount of ink. This can be done in a variety of ways such as using GCR or lowering the resolution of an inkjet printer (which does make some printers use less ink).