Can you tell me more about Plastic and Lamination?

Innovations in Printing and Finishing:

Our Story:

Back in 2003 when ETC began producing printed materials for the Montessori community our motto was and continues to be "Where Tradition Meets Innovation". Over the years we have relied on this statement to push us to the forefront of the publishing arena and become the standard for printed Montessori curriculum. That same year we were the first to introduce a revolutionary printing process on a new material known as StayFlat. It not only gave our timelines a new look and feel it gave us the nickname of "the timeline company".
As our creative department continued to identify the needs of our customers and produce sound pedagogical materials that were based on the Montessori standards, our printing facility made every effort possible to stay innovative. In 2009 we unveiled our new finishing department that included an entire array of high volume laminating equipment. To the delight of many of our customers we were now able to offer many of our printed materials completely finished and ready for the shelf.


History of lamination:


"Lamination is a method of strengthening fragile papers. Less time-consuming than traditional methods, lamination was widely used by archives from the 1930s through the 1970s. The lamination process involved de-acidifying a document, layering it between tissue and thin sheets of plastic, and fusing them together in a heated press." (Munson, Holt, Peckham, Kennedy and Grundy)


Over the years Montessorians, all over the world, have come to value their printed materials and in doing so they have relied on one method to protect them; lamination. As with any process, lamination has its own difficulties as well as idiosyncrasies, and unless you know what you are doing there will always be those unavoidable frustrating moments.


The alternative:


Fast forward almost 11 years from the day ETC started, and once again, true to our motto, we are introducing a new material.  Although we are not the first to bring plastic printing to the Montessori community, we are the first to use a new technology to bring you the incredible printed detail that many of you are used to seeing offered on paper.


What did we look for?


When we chose a plastic substrate to print on we wanted something that did not remind our customers of the plastic white pipes that their fathers used when repairing the kitchen sink.

We wanted a material that was flexible and supple like paper, smooth like matte lamination but not as stiff, easy to work with without adding significant weight. However, the most important characteristic had to be that this new material must have the feel of paper yet it needed to be strong enough to stand up to the daily use of a classroom environment.


The result:


After exploring several possibilities for over a year we finally settled on a plastic substrate that not only met all our requirements but is also able to hold color in a way that up until now only paper could.
We encourage you to see for yourself. E-mail us your information and we will be glad to send you a free sample kit. (sales@etcmontessori.com)


The Benefits:

Durability


Our plastic material is incredibly durable. It is moisture resistant, and a tough material that won't easily break or bend. Water and fluids can't harm a plastic surface. Dust, dirt and other pollutants will also be just shrugged off by the plastic. Resistance to moisture makes this kind of printing a prime choice for many schools who are near water.


Long lasting

Since the materials are printed on plastic, they are also long lasting. One of their best properties is their ability to remain intact for several years and possibly decades.

Economical

Our plastic materials are also economical. If you find that you have to replace laminated materials over and over, year after year, you are just throwing away money. Many school laminators are just not equipped to handle the type of lamination that can last.


Preserves color quality

Our new printing capabilities means that the PVC printed materials will never lose their quality. If you are laminating our materials through your school, eventually you will notice that the lamination will yellow.