Last Updated on June 21, 2022 by ronnie
Mylar is a material used for balloons and is a clear material made from polyester resin, as such mylar bags protect against light, moisture, and insects. They are used to store food products as they create a good barrier against oxygen and don’t allow oxygen to travel inside the bag.
If you are starting a business or just out of curiosity want to print a custom mylar bag then you might wonder what is the right way to print on it.
In this article, we will discuss many methods of printing Mylar bags and you need to know there are multiple options to print mylar bags.
You can use silk screen printing, flexography, gravure, or just simple label printing. Printing on labels and then putting them on bags is the simplest way to print on mylar bags. However, it doesn’t achieve the best possible printing results.
In our experience, the best printing method that provides the best quality and can be used normally at home is silk screen printing. Before that, we will tell you how you can print on mylar bags using a simple inkjet printer.
Printing On Mylar Bags Using Inkjet Printer
First, you need to decide what type of printer you will be using to print as not all inkjet printers are a good choice for printing on mylar bags. Once you have chosen the right printer, you need to choose the size of the bag and that depends on how much product needs to be placed inside of it.
In our personal experience, ArrowJet Aqua 330R would be the best choice for printing on mylar bags. You can also use HP inkjet printers, Canon PIXMA, and EPSON printers but you need to use a higher resolution version of these printers to get better results.
The next thing you need to worry about is the artwork whether the art you have drawn would look good or the same from different angles or in different light and shades.
When you are designing the artwork, you need to keep that in mind from different angles like above, side, and how will your design look on a mylar bag.
Before we go into printing on mylar bags using silkscreen printing, we will define other methods that you can use to print on mylar bags.
It is a form of rotary printing where flexible rubber printing plates are used to apply ink to various surfaces. The main benefit of flexography is that the ink applied using this technique is dried quickly by evaporation so it is safer to be directly in contact with food products.
It uses an indented area of the plate to print and it is a method often used to print magazines, and catalogs in large volumes.
Printing On Mylar Bags Using Silk Screen Printing
Before we get into this topic, you will need to get some items ready as they are required to start the printing process. Here is what you’ll need:
● An inkjet printer.
● Screens for making silkscreen.
● A wooden pad that perfectly fits the mylar bag.
With these items in your hand, let’s get started:
Step 1: Printing Design On Transparency Film
You need to prepare the design that you want to be printed on a mylar bag and you can use designing software like photoshop or adobe illustrator for it. Just be sure the design you’re printing will look good and detailed from every angle.
Print the design using an inkjet and printer you have, and choose the highest possible resolution for the print. Make sure you mirror the image to get the correct printing format.
Step 2: Making Silkscreen
You can get ready-made silkscreen from any store however, if you want to make silkscreen by yourself then we got you covered. You need to get a frame either wooden or aluminum, wooden frames are cheaper. The procedure of making silkscreen by yourself would follow as:
Attach the silkscreen to the frame you have, you can use a 100 mesh screen. For securing the mesh screen, attach two adjacent sides then attach the remaining two sides. You can use a staple gun to attach screens to the frame.
As you go through this process, you need to continuously pull the screen using your index finger or thumb while pushing the wooden frame using the remaining three fingers. When you have completed the procedure, trim the extra screen that is left along the borders of the frame.
Step 3: Applying Photo Emulsion
You need to mix the photo emulsion with a sensitizer or diazo activator to make it sensitive to light. Keep the mixing ratio of photo emulsion to sensitizer or diazo activator on a 9:1 ratio, meaning 90% photo emulsion and 10% activator.
The quantity of this solution would depend upon how many mylar bags you need to print on. You can create a huge quantity or only a cup depending on several mylar bags you need to print on.
Follow these simple steps to mix the photo emulsion with the diazo activator:
- Fill a sensitizer or diazo activator container with water and ensure that the container is at a distance from you as the powder can get into your eyes.
- After filling the container to the prescribed level, close the lid and start shaking it.
- Once it has mixed fully well with water, pour it on the emulsion. You can use a mixing stick to mix the emulsion and diazo activator and ensure that it is mixed well and keep mixing it until you get a greenish color.
Now, you need to apply the photo emulsion mixture to the screen and you can follow these simple steps to achieve that:
- Pour the required emulsion solution on the scoop coater and apply it to the screen.
- Tilt the screen 45 degrees backward then use the thin side scoop coater and press it against the mesh. Once the solution comes in contact with the screen, keep pushing against the screen with the scoop coater until you reach the top.
- Flip the screen and repeat the same process for the other side of the screen.
- Keep the emulsion-coated screen in a dry and moisture-free place. Make sure to keep the screen in a dark place. Set up the design positives on the screen.
Step 4: Preparing Screens For Printing
There is an automatic screen printing process and there are set-ups and machines that help you in this process.
If you want you can use digital printing solutions set up or a printer that automatically prints screens on mylar bags. However, if you want to do it manually you can follow the following steps to achieve that:
- Take a soft pad or wooden board whose size is suitable for a mylar bag you are going to print on.
- Pull the bag through the pad to get the flat printable surface of the mylar bag
- Now you need to align the design positive on the mylar bag the way it centers, also use a marker to mark the location.
- The next step is to center the design positive on the mylar bag and mark its location using a ball pen.
- The next task is to stick the design positive on the screen. Using cooking oil for this purpose is safe, low cost, and has no effects on printing. It also makes the unprinted parts transparent.
- After that, you need to expose the screens to 40-watt light placed at 40ft away for at least 6 minutes. This helps clean the excess photo emulsion on the design and after 6 minutes you can remove excess water using a cotton rug.
- After you achieve the screen stencil from the above step, wait for it to dry, and then apply the photo hardener. Some photo emulsions don’t require a hardener so it depends upon what photo emulsions you’re using.
- You need to wait until the photo hardener dries up. You must avoid the paint leakage by putting the stencil on the edges of the screen.
How To Print On Mylar Bags at Home (Step-by-Step-Guide)
Now, you are ready to start printing on mylar bags by following these simple steps:
- Take a soft pad and insert the mylar bag so that the folds of the bag won’t budge while you’re printing.
- You will need a 70-durometer plastic squeegee and use water-based ink for printing on mylar bags. Jacquard water-based inks are mostly used to print on mylar bags as they are strong.
- After putting the ink on the screen, push the squeegee and dive the ink through the screen and you will get a screen print on a mylar bag.
- The last step is to dry the bags and you’re good to go.
In the end, you can buy a good set-up for printing on mylar bags and that will cost you a lot if you want to perform printing on mylar bags with just an inkjet printer, then you can follow the above-mentioned steps.
Although there are other ways to print on mylar bags but screen printing method prints with the highest resolution. There are some setups that you can buy that can be used to automatically print large volumes of customized mylar bags.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Can you print designs on mylar?
Mylar is a material that is used for balloons and you can directly print onto them by using a laser or inkjet printer.
What printer can print on mylar?
Any printer can be used to print on mylar and the most famous printer would be inkjet printers as lasers printer that don’t specify if they are for mylar or not can melt the material you’re printing on.