Veteran photographer Don Brent found the perfect textured laminate for his portrait printing with LexJet Textured Polypropylene Laminate (5 Mil), but really wanted it in 25-inch widths. LexJet recently delivered with a 25-inch wide version of the textured laminate for Brent and photographers like him who prefer the smaller size to better fit their workflow.
“Even though I have an Epson 9880 44-inch printer and a 44-inch laminator I typically print on 24-inch paper. It’s easier to handle throughout the print process, from the paper coming out to trimming and laminating it. But if I need a big print I’ve got the larger printer, laminate and laminator,” explains Brent.
Brent uses LexJet Textured Polypropylene Laminate for various reasons, primarily the characteristic of the polypropylene base. Unlike vinyl and other laminate films, the polypropylene is acid-free, pH neutral and archival. It not only protects the prints from smudges and scratches, it does not degrade over time. Simply put, it’s tough.
“The protective element is huge for me. The client likes the fact that they know it’s protected. I tell them that as long as they don’t pour ammonia all over it, they don’t have to worry about the picture,” laughs Brent. “It’s easier to frame the smaller pictures after they’re laminated because they always lay flat and don’t curl.”
The other factor is aesthetics. Brent says customers love the look and feel of the laminate on their prints. Look and feel can certainly be subjective, but Brent says it’s practically universal among his clientele, so maybe, at least in Brent’s case, it’s not so subjective.
“I love the texture, but I grew up with textured prints. My father had an old texture machine that we textured all the prints with that gave us a unique look. It looked nice and was almost impossible to scan and copy. The Textured Polypropylene Laminate does the same thing; it helps make our work unique in the market and makes it very difficult to copy the image and reproduce it,” says Brent.
Brent has a 44-inch D&K laminator that has both hot and cold settings, allowing him to use both pressure-sensitive and thermal laminates. LexJet Textured Polypropylene Laminate is a “cold” pressure-sensitive laminate, meaning that it doesn’t require heat to work well.
Since Brent can apply some heat he usually sets it to a low heat, around 100 degrees F. “It’s great in the winter because the material flows a little better at 100 degrees, plus you can warm your hands,” says Brent.