Synthetic paper is an amazing product. It looks, feels, and prints like natural, wood fiber paper. But, because it is a man made petroleum based material, it is also water and tear resistant. Synthetic paper is a relatively new product, but there are some places where its increased durability over natural paper has made it a very popular choice.
Many maps, especially nautical maps, are using synthetic paper more and more often. These maps are often handled frequently in adverse conditions. By printing them on synthetic paper these maps can be totally submerged, the ink will not run, and they will not swell up. Natural paper maps need to be protected, but with synthetic paper you can take our your map at any time and not worry about damage.
Synthetic maps are not just for sailors; hikers, and adventurist can be just as hard on their maps. Synthetic paper can be shoved in a bad dropped in the mud, and driven over. Just pick it up, wipe it off and away you go.
Contrary to popular belief people love to read books. Some of the most popular places to read books happen to be near, or even in water. Anyone that has sat on the beach with a good book, or read while in the bath, knows that dangers of reading in such a precarious position. If the book gets wet, the pages swell, and stick together, and if wet enough the in will run. Many book publishers have started using synthetic paper to combat this. The are numerous books today that can be read underwater. You no longer need to worry about dropping your favorite novel in the drink, or a rogue wave. Synthetic paper has you covered.
Restaurant menus go through a lot, and they are expensive to reprint. This is why many restaurants are moving towards using synthetic paper. They can handle the abuse of being bent, dropped and spilled on. They are easily wiped clean, and because they are synthetic they can also be sanitized, a nice point when you are dealing with food.
Things to Remember
There are a few different manufacturers of synthetic paper and they each have their own formulas. It doesn’t mean much in terms of how it looks and feels, but the way it needs to be printed vary depending on manufacture. Synthetic paper can not be printed on with your typical office or home printer, there are special inks that are needed, and in some cases there is a curing process that needs to take place to ensure the ink has set. Because synthetic paper is petroleum it is 100% recyclable. To find out more about how synthetic paper is made click here.