When referring to laminating pouches, the terms “sticky-back” and “self-adhesive” are often used interchangeably, however they actually correspond to two distinct styles of pouches that have specialized properties. In this post, we’ll discuss both self-adhesive and sticky-back laminating pouches to help you understand the similarities and differences between the two pouch styles.
Self-Adhesive Laminating Pouches
Also called self-sealing, self-laminating, or cold laminating pouches, self-adhesive laminating pouches are made from pressure-sensitive laminating film and do not need heat in order to seal the document. Like laminating with pressure-sensitive roll laminating film, cold pouches do not damage heat-sensitive documents (such as digitally-printed materials). To laminate with self-adhesive pouches, simply remove the backing that lines the adhesive side of the pouch, insert your document, and firmly press the layers together to create a seal. This style of pouch is considerably more expensive than traditional thermal pouches, so if you are looking to laminate large quantities of documents, you may want to consider purchasing a pouch laminating machine to take advantage of the lower pricing for thermal pouches. If you’re only laminating a few documents, laminating as part of a one-time project, or performing lamination in the field (without access to electricity), then self-laminating pouches may be an ideal choice for you.
Sticky-Back Laminating Pouches
Sticky-back laminating pouches are similar to traditional thermal laminating pouches in that they require heat to create a seal around the document. The unique feature of sticky-back laminating pouches is that they have an adhesive backing, which allows the laminated document to be stuck to a folder, bound presentation, signboard, or any other smooth surface. After placing the document within the pouch and running it through your laminator at the proper temperature, simply peel off the release liner on the back of the pouch to expose the adhesive and affix it as desired. Though the cost of the added adhesive backing is reflected in a higher retail price as compared to standard thermal pouches, sticky-back laminating pouches are much less expensive than self-adhesive pouches.
Though the terms sticky-back and self-adhesive may sound similar, the pouches that they refer to are actually very different. Self-adhesive (cold) laminating pouches use pressure-sensitive adhesive to encapsulate documents without using a thermal laminator. Since they don’t require the use of a thermal laminating machine, these pouches are a great option for small laminating projects or for laminating documents that are heat-sensitive. They require more manual labor and cost considerably more than thermal pouches, so if you plan on laminating a high volume of documents, you’ll definitely want to consider purchasing a machine that would enable you to use thermal laminating pouches. Sticky-back pouches are thermal laminating sleeves that have an adhesive backing, allowing users to affix them to any smooth surface. Like any other thermal lamination pouch, they must be run through a laminator in order to achieve a seal. The added adhesive backing does come at a slightly higher price point compared to standard thermal pouches, but they are still substantially less expensive than self-adhesive pouches.
If you are looking for a laminating pouch that can be sealed without a laminator, then a self-adhesive pouch will fit your needs. If you want to adhere a heat-sealed laminating pouch to a bound presentation or in-store display, then a sticky-back pouch is an excellent option.