It’s time to discover digital printing on synthetics

If you haven’t thought of polyester since the ’70s, take a fresh look. Many printers tried substrates like polyester in the past, but were uncomfortable printing offset with them— because of problems with consistency, ink adhesion and waste. My how things have changed. Today, substrates such as polyester or PVC on your digital press print fast, easy, and can help set you apart from your competition … giving you access to higher value-added product and market categories.

What synthetics can do … and what they don’t do

Let’s start with what they don’t do. Unlike synthetics of old, the new breed is more resistant to heat. They look, fold, and feel a lot like high-quality paper. They’re engineered to run smoothly and efficiently through digital presses.

The biggest advantage of synthetics? Their toughness: They resist water, tearing and puncture. And with the three Mohawk Synthetics — Polyester, PVC and Velvet — you get the traits you’re looking for in high quality paper: bright whiteness and opacity.

Choosing a synthetic

Mohawk Synthetics are designed for digital color production presses, including those that use dry toner as well as HP Indigo ElectroInk. They’re lightweight like paper, yet eliminate the need for laminating. They provide exceptional opacity and are moisture and grease proof. Plus, they’re great for perforating and punching. Chemical-resistant Mohawk Synthetic Velvet is even recyclable.

According to Marco Maggio, senior vice president of Sales for the Mosaic Team, “Synthetics provide a tactile experience that really breaks through when used for direct marketing. Pieces printed on synthetic substrates truly create a better lasting impression, ultimately increasing response rates.”

Built to last

When you think about where polyester or PVC substrates might be used, the first things that come to mind might be menus, cookbooks, wristbands, ID cards, signage. But when designer Anne Thomas from TOMA Objects was “looking for a strong and less fragile material than paper” for her new series of clocks, her paper rep, Marie-Michele Lanoix from Spicers and her printer, Alain Metivier from Quadriscan, suggested Mohawk Synthetic PVC 10 mil. According to Marie-Michele, Anne was looking for a way to make her series of paper clocks water-resistant, time-resistant (pun intended). But the product or solution had to be suitable/doable for small quantity. After testing the Mohawk Synthetic PVC 10 mil on their HP Indigo press, Alain thought it might be a great option for the TOMA paper clocks, and he was right. “By the time the printer was ready to place the order,” said Marie-Michele, “we had brought it in stock, readily available to them.”

And what did Anne think of the results? “It came out exactly how I wanted,” she says. “The Mohawk Synthetic PVC printed extremely well on the HP Indigo; the surface is perfect — no lines of unevenness. Also, I was really impressed about the quality of the material, and the diecutting (from Diemont) of the numbers are really fine and the result is perfect.”

Look at the applications

Mohawk Synthetic Polyester  is called for when you’re printing durable book pages, menus, brochures, instruction manuals, cookbooks, wrist bands, placements, ID cards, maps, food prep manuals, flip charts, book covers, luggage tags, shelf sliders, plant stakes, wall charts.

Mohawk Synthetic PVC is best for door hangers, luggage tags, key fobs, membership cards, playing cards, wall charts, industrial signage, outdoor signage, POP displays, medical charts.

Mohawk Synthetic Velvet (which features a smooth, velvety finish) is ideal for door hangers, luggage tags, key fobs, membership cards, playing cards, wall charts, industrial signage, lumber tabs, horticultural tags, banners, posters, signage, POP displays.

Want to show off your digital work on synthetics? Email us a photo and description at [email protected].

TIPS How to ensure a successful print job on synthetics
– Check Mohawk’s Specialty Digital Equipment Compatibility chart regarding suitability of the Synthetic products on your digital press.
– Get a free sample pack of Mohawk Synthetics from your local merchant or online at to test out in your equipment prior to committing to a job.
– Think about the end use of the product you’re creating. Will it be handled a lot or potentially exposed to moisture or chemicals? If yes, it might be a perfect application for a Synthetic material.
– Don’t forget, Synthetic face stocks are also available in Mohawk Pressure Sensitive and Mohawk Magnet materials!

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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by A colorful time with TOMA clocks « Felt & Wire on 5.24.12 at 11:49 am

    […] Read more about Mohawk Synthetic here. […]

  2. Posted by Jessica on 1.23.18 at 12:15 am


    We are interested in the PVC paper. We want to use it to make poker cards, these will be printed an HP INDIGO 1000 and INDIGO 7900, so we want to know about advice, sizes, minimum, purchase, prices, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Posted by Nick Motyl (Mohawk Paper) on 1.23.18 at 8:28 pm

    Hey Jessica,

    Thank you for your interest in Mohawk! We will have a rep reach out to you with more information.

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