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Pouch Laminating: Perfect Results Every Time!

When you want to keep your menus clean, your posters reusable, your charts wipe-cleanable, and your documents durable, you laminate! If you’re like us, you’ll put your pouch laminator through its paces—you want it to last a long, loooong time, and you want to get the best possible results, every. single. time. Follow the tips below to keep your laminator running smoothly and your documents looking and feeling great!

Turn the heat down (or up)

Is your menu coming out of the laminator all wrinkled up? Are there bubbles? Curled up corners? If so, you most likely have the temperature turned up too high for the pouches you’re working with. The user manual that came with your laminating machine will give you great information on the correct settings you need for the materials you’re working with so your documents come out flat, smooth, and perfect!

On the other hand, if you run your wipe-off checklist through your pouch laminator and the pouch is cloudy, making it hard to see your list, then you probably need to turn your machine temperature up. Again, refer to your user manual for optimal temperatures needed to make your item come out crystal clear.

Keep it clean

Eventually, your pouch laminator will need to be cleaned; as you feed the pouches through, occasionally some of the film will adhere to the heated rollers, which can gum up your machine and cause your documents to come out with bumps and chunks. Your laminator’s user manual will have information about how and how often to clean your particular machine, but in general, we recommend using a mildly abrasive cleaning pad (we like the 3M White Scotch Bride pad). Pour a little denatured alcohol on the pad or use a mild detergent to wipe the debris and melted film off the rollers. We also sell a pouch laminator cleaning kit if that’s more your style—again, refer to your user manual for cleaning tips specific to your laminating machine. 

Size it right

Not everything you’re laminating is the exact same size, which makes it really important that you select pouches that are sized appropriately for your paper. The rule of thumb is to leave a 1/8” buffer on each side so the adhesive adheres well to itself and bonds to the paper properly. This will keep moisture and dirt clear of the paper you’re protecting, and will help prevent damage.

“Mils” and why they matter

Just as not everything you’re laminating is going to be the same size, it’s also not going to be the same thickness, nor will it all be used the same way. In order to keep your document looking clean and new for years, you want to use the right pouch thickness. Laminating pouches are measured in “mils” which is one-thousandth of an inch. Most commonly, pouches are sold in thicknesses of 3, 5, 7, and 10 mils, with 3 mil pouches being the thinnest and most flexible and 10 mil pouches being the thickest and most rigid. In order to determine which thickness of laminating pouch to use, ask yourself two things:

1. What am I going to do with my item once it’s laminated? Will it need to be folded or flexible? Will it be handled frequently? Will it only be used incidentally? For items that will be handled frequently (think menus), you’ll most likely want to use something on the thicker end of the scale: 7 mil or 10 mil. For something that will be used just incidentally, or that might need to be folded or scored, 3 mil or 5 mil might be more appropriate.

2. How thick is the item that I’m laminating? Generally, you would use a pouch that is roughly the same weight as the item that you’re laminating. So, for newspaper or regular 20lb bond paper, you’d use a 3 mil pouch. For 24lb bond paper, you’d use a 5 mil pouch. If you’re laminating card stock, you’d want to use a 7 mil pouch, while 10 mil would be appropriate for poster board. 

Keep in mind, as we discussed above, that the temperature of your laminating machine may need to be adjusted depending on what pouch weight you’re using. 

We hope this information will help you get perfect, polished results with your pouch laminator!

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Permanent Paper

Permanent Paper is a white matte polyester paper specifically designed for high heat laser printers and photocopiers. Permanent paper produces excellent image quality that can withstand and last in the harshest environments. It is tear‐resistant, waterproof and heat stable while running just like paper. When strength and toughness are needed, Permanent Paper is your solution. (50 and 100 count)
Please check your owner’s manual for the maximum thickness your copier can handle.
Not for use in inkjet printers!

Performance Features
•Prints like regular paper
•Weatherproof and greaseproof
•Doesn’t shrink or swell in heat or cold
•Solvent, chemical, blood and sweat resistant
•Perfs and punches beautifully
•High resistance to tearing, fading and scuffs
•Can be written on in pen/pencil, even after imaging
•Very high melt point 450° allows for use on wide range of equipment

Outdoor Signage •Menus, Greeting Cards •Instruction manuals•ID Cards, Tags & Badges•Maps & Charts
•Rulers, Bookmarks•Golf Score Cards•Business Cards•Luggage & Plant Tags•Advertising Displays

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3D Printing Filament

3D Filament offers 3 choices:
Standard PLA is our most popular filament and comes in basic color selections. It is economical and reliable and great for quick, inexpensive prototypes. No harsh fumes, no heated bed necessary and 100% bio-based.
Workday PLA is high-temp resistance and has the broadest selection of colors. A beautiful balance of performance, price and capabilities.
Pro PLA has better impact toughness than ABS with high-temp resistance to match. The PLA you need for uncompromising performance in a supremely easy to print material.

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Are you using the right film?

Laminating film is available in School Grade, General Purpose and Premium Grade.  Depending on your application you will need to choose one of these options. Schools most commonly use School Grade or General Purpose film to laminate teaching materials, posters and visuals. If you are looking for more rigidity or your document is going to be frequently handled, you might consider choosing a heavier gauge of film, like General Purpose.  Premium film is used for specialty items with heavy ink coverage. Remember to check your laminator to make sure that it can handle the thickness of film that you choose. A lot of school laminators are only capable of laminating documents with the lighter film weights. 

School Grade film is a Hi-Quality, low cost alternative film, ideal for porous paper stock and will adhere to light to medium ink coverage materials.

General Purpose film bonds well to copies and inkjet papers, works best and adheres to light or medium ink coverage materials.

Premium film is  a quality film that won’t cloud, fog or peel and is composed to offer a thicker feel. Works best on medium to heavy ink coverage materials. 

Always refer to your roll laminator manual for film thickness.

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Popp Binding & Laminating has a new website!

Whew! We’ve just finished overhauling our site to give our customers a better online experience.

If you’re already one of our customers and haven’t created an account on our new site yet, please take the time to sign up now.

Here are just some of the new features we hope will make using our site more enjoyable:

  • Better overall organization
  • View future on-line order history
  • Search products by product description or SKU
  • Enhanced shipping options:
    – use your own UPS shipping number (3rd Party Freight)
  • Schools: Net 30 with a Purchase Order Number

We’ve got more great things planned. Check back soon.

If you experience any trouble while using our site or have any suggestions, please contact us at