Soft Touch Laminating

printps

Member
We are new to the laminate world, but not the printing world. Been doing tons of research online. We are wanting to use a soft touch laminate finish on our products. They are journals that are 8.5 x 5.5. What kind of laminate machine do you all recommend and why? Are pouches better for us or should we use a roll? Thanks for your help in narrowing our search.
 

HRoss

Member
I'm curious to know why you chose lamination as the means of providing soft touch feel to the journals. Have you considered water-based or UV soft touch coatings?
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
If you're just going to to small volumes, then pouches are fine...just very slow. If you think it will be high volumes, invest in a roll laminator with an automatic sheet feeder. There are one which automatically cut the edges to sealed or flush edges as well such as the ALM 3222 and others seen at a finishing equipment site like this one (I don't work here or promote this company): https://www.mybinding.com/laminating...aminators.html

Another unit idea to consider is one that not only laminates, but offers foiling as well such as the Duplo DFL-500 (http://duplousa.com/products/Product...r&CatNumber=12) . You print the area you want foiled in black toner and the foil sticks to only those areas. Then you can put it back through your digital press to print the rest of the full color images. There are other companies that make a similar unit, I'm just familiar with this one.
 

printps

Member
We are printing the journals ourselves, that is why we are considering soft touch laminate. We have not considered water based or uv coating. Do you think that is better than soft touch? We haven't ventured out into this before and we just like the way it feels and the way it makes the covers look. Are we missing something? We are trying to keep the cost down of this type of machine below $4000.
 

printps

Member
The problem we are running into with our journals is that the covers tear apart from the wire binding. We already print them on 120 lb matte cover. We are just wanting an extra layer of protection as people open and close them so that the covers won't come off. The paper you suggested is really nice and we thought about that, but they just aren't durable enough for the wear and tear. I appreciate all of the feedback, please keep it coming.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
The problem we are running into with our journals is that the covers tear apart from the wire binding. We already print them on 120 lb matte cover. We are just wanting an extra layer of protection as people open and close them so that the covers won't come off. The paper you suggested is really nice and we thought about that, but they just aren't durable enough for the wear and tear. I appreciate all of the feedback, please keep it coming.
You need to be giving a bit more detail about your situation. Quantities, sizes, turnaround times, is cost a factor, etc etc etc etc. I think that people have given you plenty of feedback, but it can only go so far until you need to give others more information about you.
 

printps

Member
Sure. The journals are 8.5 x 5.5. There are about 1500 a week that we do. The journals sell for $29.99. Each journal is specific for that person, so no journal is the same. We are currently about 5 to 7 days out from shipping an order once it is placed. The covers are printed on 120 lb matte cover and they are wire (double) bound. We are looking for a solution so that the covers don't come off. We are limited to 130 lb cover due to the production printer that we use. We do appreciate the feedback and the foil suggestion is nice, but we don't currently offer that. That might be something we do in the future though. We are looking for some kind of soft touch laminate or a better solution that will still keep the unique look of the covers.
 

DYP

Well-known member
The problem we are running into with our journals is that the covers tear apart from the wire binding. We already print them on 120 lb matte cover. We are just wanting an extra layer of protection as people open and close them so that the covers won't come off. The paper you suggested is really nice and we thought about that, but they just aren't durable enough for the wear and tear. I appreciate all of the feedback, please keep it coming.
Maybe polyester sheets would give you the toughness you are looking for.
 

printps

Member
Yes, they will. However, the synthetic polyester paper is rather expensive and we are trying to keep the cost down. This is something we would use for all of our covers. We have 120 different designs for the covers.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Yes, they will. However, the synthetic polyester paper is rather expensive and we are trying to keep the cost down. This is something we would use for all of our covers. We have 120 different designs for the covers.
Laminating the sheets will be just as expensive if not more, especially considering the extra labor that is involved. I work at a county in-plant and a good majority of our work is training manuals which are spiral bound. We have switched to doing the covers on Synaps synthetic material and it’s been great. That material already has a matte type finish and there’s no extra labor....just cut and punch like paper.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Thank you for the input. What mil on the paper do you use? Our machine will only go up to 10 mil.
Synaps is available in 5, 8, 10 and 14 mil. We use the 10mil in our shop for everything, which is 300gsm. I think it's overkill for some projects, but we buy it in bulk, so it works out better than ordering different weights for different projects. You could probably use an 8mil and it would still have a great feel to it. See this link for weights and available sizes: http://www.nekoosacoated.com/PDF/Sell-Sheets/SynapsDigitalXM_SellSheet_10-4-16.aspx
 

Stickman42

Well-known member
We currently use D&K's scuff-free matte nylon film for some of our perfect bound book covers, laminating just one side. This film has a very soft feel to it. In volume, the material cost is about 15 cents per 11 x 17 sheet run through it with 10" wide film.

With regard to your $4k equipment budget, at 1500 pieces per week, even a hand-fed laminator might work for you. But keep in mind that laminating digital prints usually needs to be done at a very slow speed.

I have an old working Foliant around here somewhere...
 

printps

Member
Perfect! Thank you all for the great information. We will discuss all our options and go from there. What did we ever do before forums like this? Ha.
 

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