Thursday, 8 October 2015

Label Planet: FAQ – Why Don’t You Do Heavier/Thicker Materials?

Some customers come to us looking for a specific weight or thickness of material while others simply want something heavier or thicker than standard materials.

Our products do cover a range of weights (122gsm to 260gsm) and thicknesses (129 microns to 228 microns); however, we do not offer bespoke labels made with materials of a specific weight or thickness NOR are our label ranges available with different material options (in other words, each is made with a material of one specific weight and thickness).

While we strive to always use materials of excellent quality, we are restricted in the weight and thickness that we can use due to the practicalities of printing labels. We specialise in supplying customers with sheets of labels that they can print themselves with THEIR OWN standard printers at home or at work.

This means that we are restricted to label products that are compatible with the recommended maximum weights and thicknesses applied to standard printers by their manufacturers. All manufacturers will supply recommended guidelines for the materials that their printers can safely accommodate; for standard printers this tends to be lower than printing presses used in the printing industry. Some standard printers are limited to paper only, which means they may not be able to accept materials of more than 80-90gsm. Others will be made with both a paper tray (suitable for paper products of 80-90gsm) and a media bypass tray, which is designed specifically for heavier and thicker materials – albeit with a limit as to the materials they can accept. You can check the recommended maximum weights and thicknesses of your printer in the manual provided by the manufacturer.

Labels are, by their very nature, a layered product, being made up of a number of layers including (as a bare minimum) a face material, adhesive layer, and a backing sheet. This means that the weight and thickness of the face material is limited by those of the adhesive and backing sheet layers.

If you absolutely have to have a heavier or thicker material, you will need to ensure that you have access to a printer capable of processing such a material and then source a product from a label manufacturer or supplier who is able to offer that material or produce a bespoke product for you. Alternatively, you may want to use a printing company who would be able to source a heavier or thicker material AND would have a printing press capable of printing onto that material.

You can view the weights and thicknesses of our materials on our Material Specification sheets, which are listed on our website here.

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