In 1995, Mohawk cracked the code on how to make beautiful uncoated paper perform like coated paper, using a surface treatment named Inxwell. Today, as Inxwell quietly celebrates its 20th anniversary, we look back at how Inxwell papers – Options and Navajo – were first introduced, and how they continue today to provide designers and printers all the benefits of sharp, saturated color without sacrificing the aesthetic beauty of fine, uncoated papers.
A 20-Year Retrospective
Mohawk first introduced Options featuring Inxwell in December of 1995 through a high-profile partnership with MTV, which resulted in a limited-edition collector’s book titled “MTV Unplugged, First Edition.”
“MTV Unplugged, First Edition” is a stunning visual history of the musical series that gained a tremendous following during the 1990s for featuring unforgettable acoustic performances by legendary musicians including Elton John, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Neil Young and many others. The book includes personal essays, hundreds of original photos, and behind-the-scenes commentary.
MTV describes the book as, “The ultimate, intimate, visual tour of the program that became a phenomenon since its debut in 1989.”
“The print production team at MTV Books wanted the beautiful tactility of an uncoated sheet, but needed a paper that would bring these incredibly detailed images of performers to life. Mohawk Options with Inxwell printed with ease, and beautifully showcases hundreds of stunning images with incredible crispness, detail and the richest colors imaginable,” says Chris Harrold, Vice President of Business Development and Creative Director, Mohawk.
An Exclusive Papermaking Process
Inxwell is Mohawk’s exclusive surface technology that combines the tactile feel of uncoated paper with the advantages of superior ink holdout, lower dot gain, and significantly increased opacity.
Mohawk’s Inxwell papers, Mohawk Options and Navajo, feature six premium white shades and three distinct finishes to complement a range of styles. Within the line there are three 100% PCW choices, and the entire line is FSC certified and made with windpower for print projects that call for an environmentally friendly paper.
Unrivaled Print Performance
Mohawk Options and Navajo print better than any other uncoated paper in the world. Ink sits on top of Inxwell papers resulting in better color, greater detail, and outstanding photographic reproduction in all popular printing processes.
Inxwell also increases opacity, yielding the most high-fidelity uncoated printing paper available today, and adds crispness without gloss, and holdout without the hardness.
The results: increased ink holdout, reduced dot gain, high definition, high density, high contrast, high opacity/low show through, environmental sustainability, economy, and cross-platform capabilities.
Heritage & Innovation
Inxwell is a great expression of Mohawk’s core values of heritage and innovation. It was a fortuitous rebuild of the paper machine in Mohawk’s Cohoes mill in the 1980s that allowed Mohawk the opportunity to develop this unique surface treatment and to continue the brand’s commitment to innovation in fine paper manufacturing.
When Inxwell was introduced, it was built around Mohawk Options. The incredible early success of Options caused Mohawk to extend the surface treatment to another legendary Mohawk brand, Navajo.
From Offset to Digital Printing
At the time of the Inxwell launch in 1995, digital printing was in its infancy. In the late ‘90s, Inxwell papers – Navajo specifically – were tested on fledgling new digital presses like the Kodak NexPress and Xerox DocuColor 40, among others – which were some of the earliest dry toner digital presses on the market. Options and Navajo quickly established a reputation for “best-in-class,” high-fidelity printing papers in digital print production, and continue to hold that reputation today.
By the early 2000s, Mohawk’s Inxwell paper portfolio had expanded to over 30 SKUs with a range from high bright, super smooth Navajo to the incredibly successful Options 100% PCW.
Only the cleanest, highest quality post-consumer waste fibers are used in Mohawk Options; 100% of the electricity used to manufacture Mohawk Options and Mohawk Navajo is matched with Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from wind power projects. Mohawk Options and Navajo are certified by the Rainforest Alliance for FSC standards.
The success of PCW 100% is inextricably linked to the benefits of Inxwell. Mohawk was able to provide a 100% post-consumer fiber sheet with this proprietary surface treatment, which allowed printers a chance to offer superior, high-fidelity print results while meeting environmental objectives for their clients and projects. Inxwell allows printers to achieve UV-like results without the need to use UV printing techniques.
Tools and Inspiration
Mohawk developed a handbook called “How to Run with Inxwell” as a tool to provide designers, printers, print buyers and end users with information to understand, specify and print on Mohawk’s proprietary patented Inxwell papers. You can order a free copy here.
Issue No. 06 of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly will be released in conjunction with the new Options + Navajo swatchbook, providing thought-provoking inspiration through a diverse selection of Options and Navajo papers. To subscribe to the Mohawk Maker Quarterly, click here.
Look for Mohawk’s newly redesigned Options + Navajo swatchbook to debut later this month. For more information, visit Mohawkconnects.com/swatchbooks.