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What is Synthetic Paper?

Hands holding a printed map

Synthetic Paper refers to a category of printable substrates made from polymer-based resins. Synthetic paper has the appearance and print characteristics of traditional paper, but because it is a plastic-like material it offers greater strength and durability.

Hence, synthetic paper is resistant to tears, moisture, and oily substances. These traits make synthetic paper an excellent alternative to traditional wood-pulp paper for print projects that will be subject to damp, dirty, greasy, or other harsh conditions.

What are the Advantages of Synthetic Paper?

playing cards on a table
Water Resistant Playing Cards created from Synthetic Paper

Tear Resistance - the molecular structure of synthetic paper gives it extraordinary stability and toughness. Unlike conventional paper, synthetic paper cannot be torn. Print materials used in rugged environments or those subject to frequent or rough handling are good candidates for synthetic paper.

Water Resistance - unlike traditional paper which absorbs water and becomes limp, synthetic paper is impervious to water and most other liquids. This makes synthetic paper a good choice for printed materials used in environments that are wet, damp, or humid, or where splashes and spills might occur.

Oil Resistance - synthetic paper does not absorb oily or greasy substances like paper made of wood pulp. Consequently, synthetic paper is ideal for print materials created for use in commercial kitchens, manufacturing plants, automotive facilities, or other environments where oil or grease might be present.

Easy to Clean - the ultra-smooth surface of synthetic paper repels stains and can be easily rinsed off or wiped clean. This is why synthetic paper has such widespread use for restaurant menus. Synthetic paper is also perfect for any printing intended for outdoor use, such as maps or field guides.

Eco-Friendly - synthetic paper is not created from wood pulp or wood fibers, so no trees are used in its manufacturing process. Synthetic paper is also very long lasting so it doesn't need to be replaced as often. In addition, synthetic paper is completely recyclable for use in a wide variety of new applications.

Logo for YUPO synthetic paper
YUPO® is a registered trademark of the YUPO Corporation

Synthetic paper is produced by several manufacturers, with YUPO® and Polyart® being two of the more prominent sources.

What it YUPO?

YUPO is the leading brand of synthetic paper. It is made from polypropylene.

What is Polyart?

Polyart is a popular brand of synthetic paper. It is made from polyethylene and has a clay coating.

Logo for Polyart® synthetic paper
Polyart® is a registered trademark of Arjobex Limited

Synthetic papers print, fold, and function just like regular paper but are much more durable. Synthetic papers are also completely waterproof and resist stains.

If synthetic paper sounds like a good fit for your print project, give Color Vision Printing a call at 800-543-6299. Or, if you already know your project's specs and would like a quote, click here to submit a Quote Request. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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