Printing waterproof material needs special consideration

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at 9:12 am

A printers day is always varied. So many formats and so many stocks and techniques who knows what the next phone call will require……..this time it was a waterproof map for our customer Saddleback.

The brief for the map was a robust, tearproof, lightweight, waterproof material suitable for all weather and most importantly for this event,  sweatproof given the riders have 112 miles to cover.  The ride takes between 5.5 hours and 12 hours depending on your ability and is gruelling.   A true test for the riders and the material we chose for this print job!



There are many 100% synthetic materials that meet the criteria and they are commonly used for a number of applications like wrist bands, outdoor posters,  plant labels, builder merchant tickets, motorbike swing tickets, and bags to mention just a few.


Considerations when printing on 100% synthetic material are:

-You may need to use polybond inks which dry through oxidisation meaning that the ink sits on the surface of the paper. They can take a long time to dry, but this one was ok as the ink coverage was not too dense.

-They tend to be quite rigid whatever the weight, so folding them is tricky.  They are slippery and bouncy. Beware the finishing can be fiddly and will cost more as it is likely to take longer. The best use for this material is where it does not need to be folded, like posters and wristbands and plant labels.

– If you are printing  litho you have to wash down the machine before you can use the polybond inks which you probably will need for this material. This will make it more expensive than conventional printing onto a paper stock on the litho.

plant tag

But you won’t be disappointed.  Printing waterproof material does what it says on the tin and is perfect for any outdoor or wet conditions application. Robust and durable and you really can’t tear it. (We’ve tried really hard and it just doesn’t tear)

A lot of the synthetic materials are smooth including the 135gsm Synaps we used for the map, but if you are looking for something more textured check out Tyvek from Antalis.