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Custom Print Label Learning: About Label Laminates

Laminates are clear plastic films that enhance appearance and add an extra layer of protection when applied to custom print labels. The process of bonding these films to the label face stock through the use of adhesive, heat and/or pressure is called lamination.

Label Printing Industry Materials

Although laminates come in different materials, the most commonly used ones in the label printing industry are polyester (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Here at Lightning Labels, we use both types of materials for lamination, with BOPP labels being the most popular laminate due to its versatility and affordability.

Lamination will protect your labels from light scuffs and prevent ink smudging, and enhance their resistance to moisture.

Water Resistant Custom Labels and Stickers

It is important to note, however, that lamination alone will not give you water resistant labels and stickers. If your labels will be used in a wet environment, we recommend having them made on one of our water-resistant base materials such as White BOPP. For custom water resistant labels, White BOPP and High Gloss Laminate has traditionally been our most popular combination of materials often used for bath and body product labels.

    • High Gloss Laminate is our most popular laminate overall. It is the least expensive lamination option, and protects labels while giving them a shiny finish. High Gloss laminate is made of PP.

    • Matte Laminate, also made of PP, gives labels a dull finish similar to that of eggshell paint. If you plan on writing information on your labels by hand, Matte Laminate is your best option.

    • Thermal Transfer Laminate is a glossy laminate designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers (the kind that use ink ribbons vs. direct thermal application). Thermal Transfer Laminate is made of PE.

  • UV Outdoor Gloss has excellent resistance to the sun’s UV rays. We recommend pairing it with our Vinyl face stock to create durable outdoor labels. Like Thermal Transfer Laminate, this material also has a glossy appearance and is made of PE.

Laminate is not appropriate for all *base materials and applications. Therefore, we recommend testing labels directly on your product containers in the conditions they will be used before placing your final order.

It is also important to note that while lamination can enhance the finished look of custom print labels, its greatest value lies in the added layer of protection it gives.

*Note: We do not laminate Vellum, Satin Cloth, or select other materials because laminates will not adhere to them satisfactorily. For more information about which materials can and cannot be laminated, please view the Materials List. More information about our labels is also available by obtaining an online quote, emailing us, or giving us a call at 1-800-544-6323.