Do you laminate your prints? For some it is a matter of course, while others deliberately avoid it. In this article we will discuss the 7 most important benefits of laminating your printed products. Laminating may be the last step in your production process, but it is certainly not unimportant! And to make sure your next laminate job is a success, we’ll conclude with some practical tips.
- laminating makes your print material thicker and more robust
The transparent film applied during lamination makes the printed material thicker and more resistant to mechanical wear. Therefore, it is important to ask yourself if your print material will be wrinkled/deformed by use. If this is the case, lamination is recommended for protection. There are several advantages to choosing lamination. For example, a laminated sticker is easier to apply, there is less risk of air pockets under the sticker and the sticker is better protected against deformation. It is also easier to remove the sticker if you wish to do so in the future.
- lamination protects against UV radiation
If your printed product is exposed to many environmental factors, such as the sun, there is a high risk of discolouration. UV-B rays cause the colour to fade. Laminating with protective films with built-in UV protection slows down or prevents this process and ensures that your prints retain their beauty much longer.
- laminates protect against moisture and dirt
Laminating your work also prevents moisture from getting into your prints and dirt from, for example, greasy fingers from sticking to them. This means that your prints are not only protected from water damage, but are also easy to clean. This is very practical when you are dealing with outdoor applications or, for example, restaurant menus.
- lamination protects against damage
Tears and creases don’t stand a chance when your work is properly laminated. By using a scratch-resistant material, you can add a scratch-resistant layer to your printed products. This is often applied to print media for pop-up systems. These media have to withstand a lot during transport, set-up and take-down. Therefore, it makes sense to laminate frequently used media for pop-ups / roll-ups to protect them better.
- laminating gives a luxurious look
Laminating – also known as finishing – is a finishing technique that gives printed products a luxurious and distinctive look. Lamination makes the paper appear and feel firmer, giving it a better quality and look. There is a wide range of finishes available, ranging from matt, satin, glossy to high gloss. Depending on the intended use of the printed material, you can choose the most suitable finish. Glossy laminates, for example, bring out the colours better. And using matt laminates prevents annoying light reflections, for example in photo posters.
6 Laminating increases durability
The protective layer of the laminate also increases the lifespan of your print material. You must remember that prints that are not protected against mechanical or environmental influences have a limited lifespan. Therefore, it can be said that applying a protective film extends the life of the prints and secures their value. A not unimportant final touch!
- laminating services give your print special properties
In addition to the standard laminating films mentioned above, there are also laminating films with special properties. For example:
Adding a non-slip texture to floor graphics: to prevent slipping and protect against moisture and dirt.
Creating a writable surface for whiteboard applications: ideal e.g. for maps
Prevent vandalism by adding anti-graffiti properties: Paint and permanent marker can be easily removed with cleaning agents
Providing a scratch-resistant layer with the above-mentioned display boards: scratches are less easily visible on pop-up media, for example
Tips for successful laminating
Are you convinced of the benefits of laminating? Then it is up to you to apply the laminate successfully. We will help you with our tips and instructions:
Work clean, dry, dust and grease free: Use a PCR roller to remove dust and dirt.
Use the same material combinations as often as possible: So a PVC monomer laminate for a PVC monomer print material and e.g. polyester on polyester -> Matching base materials behave similarly, which prevents e.g. shrinking of the edges. – Drying time: Especially when laminating inkjet prints, make sure that the inks dry sufficiently and cure completely, allow for a drying time of at least 24 hours
Avoid silvering: A fine entrapment of air between the print and the laminating film is called silvering. Silvering can be difficult to detect due to the fine structure and is especially noticeable on dark prints. If you heat the roll slightly to 30 degrees during lamination, the adhesive will flow better and prevent the effect of silvering.
Let the print rest for 24 hours after laminating: Let the print acclimatise at room temperature for 24 hours after laminating before proceeding with any further work. This ensures optimal adhesion of the adhesive and allows the film to ‘relax’.
Shipping laminated prints: If you want to send your printed material rolled up, make sure you roll the material onto a large core with the image side out. This will prevent the rolled up print from tunneling after unrolling.
Make your next laminating project a success
Laminating is the finishing touch to your printed products and can greatly affect the final result. But with these tips, the result is sure to be a success. Would you like to do some tests with laminate? For example, to protect important printed matter, to provide floor graphics with an anti-slip layer or to counteract reflections on photo posters? Request our new protective film sample book without obligation.