Laminating & Encapsulating – Matt or Gloss Finish?

When considering laminating & encapsulating, there are various films available to perfect the finish you want to achieve.   Each film has its own properties and making the right decision on this aspect of print finishing is key to your project.

Matt lamination gives a soft, natural look and enhances the readability of the print whilst softening the contrast of darker colours, making them less imposing.   The texture is velvety and the surface non reflective.   Matt finish is more susceptible than gloss film to scratching or scuffing if handled regularly.

Gloss lamination gives a highly polished, shiny appearance, enhancing the colour of text and imagery on the printed page.   However the surface is reflective, so not suitable when the finished project may be placed under direct lighting.   Gloss laminating film provides a stronger, more durable document.   By definition, the vast majority of document encapsulation utilises gloss film, for its inherent properties.

Duplex vs Simplex

With two sided (duplex) lamination jobs, we can apply either the same, or different films to each side.   For example, some customers like their business cards with a matt front and a gloss reverse.   Whereas two sided documents would typically have the same gloss or matt film applied to both sides.  Alternatively if the reverse is plain, for example a poster designed for indoor use, the reverse may not need to be laminated.   This is called a simplex (one-sided) job.

Contact us for advice on your specific project – we can advise on the most appropriate laminating & encapsulating options for you.

  • To achieve a perfect finish and prevent the laminating film from peeling, we use the industry standard Vivid Matrix pneumatic laminator shown below.
  • We use digital grade ‘OPP’  film for best results.
  • The laminator applies regulated high pressure between the rollers to permanently seal your printed work.  Even with heavy coverage and full bleeds (where we trim to within the printed edge)
Matrix 370DP Laminator Omniflow


Encapsulating is a similar process to laminating, and in layman’s terms is often referred to as “laminating”.   However there are some key differences:

  • Encapsulation is for protection and seals all sides of the document, with the film being larger than the document.
  • Lamination is for appearance enhancement and does not seal the document.
  • When encapsulating a document, there are various weights of film and the thicker the film, the more rigid the finished piece.   150 micron (2×75) and 250micron (2×125) are our most popular weights of encapsulating film.
  • Conversely, laminating film is much thinner (typically 24-27 micron) and does not significantly alter the thickness of the finished sheets.
  • We use a heavy duty GBC A2-width encapsulator providing regulated speed and roller temperature.   This ensures the finished pieces produced are perfectly flat, fully sealed and ripple-free.

a1Sovereign – providing local printing & photocopyinglaminating/encapsulating and document binding to businesses, organisations and individuals throughout Berkshire, Oxfordshire and beyond.   Places we deliver to include Abingdon, Aldermaston, Ascot, Ashampstead, Banbury, Basingstoke, Benson, Bicester, Bracknell, Burghfield, Carterton, Chipping Norton, Cholsey, Cookham, Crowmarsh, Crowthorne, Didcot, Earley, Eton, Faringdon, Farnborough, Fleet, Goring, Hampstead Norreys, Henley on Thames, High Wycombe, Hook, Hungerford, Lambourn, Loudwater, Lower Basildon, Maidenhead, Mapledurham, Marlow, Midgham, Mortimer, Nettlebed, Newbury, Oxford, Pangbourne, Purley on Thames, Reading, Sandhurst, Slough, Streatley, Tadley, Taplow, Thame, Theale, Thatcham, Tidmarsh, Tilehurst, Upper Basildon, Wallingford, Wantage, Watlington, Whitchurch on Thames, Windsor, Witney, Wokingham, Wooburn Green, Woodcote, Woodley, Woodstock, Yateley… plus all other towns, villages and surrounding areas.