Paper Encapsulation: What it is, and why it is useful for multiple types of media

Paper encapsulation is a process of protecting a flat sheet of paper, card, or other simialat material, and encasing between two protective plastic or polymer layers. The plastic sheets are then sealed on the edges with adn additional excess, creating a sleeve or an envelope for the paper. This makes the paper more durable, water-resistant and enhances its appearance.

Paper encapsulation is different from lamination. Laimation is a similar but different process of applying a film to the paper. The key difference is that lamination uses a thin film adhered to the media to give it a ‘wipe down’ appearance yet is essentially open at the edges, while encapsulation uses a thicker, high-grade film and is sealed around all edges. Lamination is trimmed to the edge of the paper, while encapsulation leaves a border around the paper. Lamination is not waterproof, while encapsulation is.

Paper encapsulation is suitable for documents that need to withstand frequent handling or outdoor exposure. Some common examples of paper-based items that are often encapsulated are:

  • Menus: Encapsulation protects menus from stains, spills and tears, and makes them easy to wipe and sanitize
  • Maps: Encapsulation protects maps from moisture, dirt and creases, and makes them more readable and durable
  • Placemats: Encapsulation protects placemats from food and drink spills, and makes them more attractive and reusable
  • Signage: Encapsulation protects signage from weather, sunlight and vandalism, and makes them more visible and eye-catching2
  • Brochures: Encapsulation protects brochures from wear and tear, and makes them more glossy and professional-lookin

Paper encapsulation is a simple and effective way to preserve and enhance printed paper materials. It involves covering the paper with plastic sheets and sealing them on the edges. It is different from lamination, which uses a thinner film and does not leave a border. Paper encapsulation is ideal for documents that need to be water-resistant and durable, such as menus, maps, placemats, signage and brochures.