What is bamboo viscose?

Bamboo viscose is a synthetic fibre produced from bamboo, which is used to make knitted or woven fabrics. Unlike cotton, bamboo viscose does not have a fibre-like structure and must be split before processing. 
Fabrics made of this material are particularly convincing due to their high wearing comfort and pleasant softness. A high level of breathability as well as the temperature-balancing effect ensure less skin irritation compared to ordinary fibres.

Despite its natural origin, bamboo viscose or viscose made from other fibres is no longer considered a natural fibre and is not allowed to bear this designation.

Glossary Bamboo Viscose

What is Bi-Color Film?

A bi-colour film is a multi-layer cast PVC film with solvent-based adhesive. Colloquially, it is also called dual colour film. The film is used when a certain unlit colour effect is to be achieved during the day and a different backlit colour effect is to be achieved in the dark. The effect is achieved by a coloured film behind the perforated one shining through the perforation at night. The functional life is approx. 7 years, depending on the area of application. The material can be used explicitly in dry conditions.

Glossary Bi-Colour Foil

What is Canvas?

Canvas is made from natural fibres such as cotton, hemp, linen or also mixed and manufactured with synthetic fibres such as polyester.

The result is a very robust, natural white fabric that is known for its rough, slightly structured surface. It impresses with its brilliant colour reproduction and detailed print result, making it an excellent image carrier. Unlike cretonne, canvas is more finely woven and is thus stiffer than the classic cotton fabric.

Glossary Canvas

What does CMYK stand for?

CMYK stands for a widely used colour system for offset, digital or inkjet printing. It consists of the basic colours cyan (blue), magenta, yellow (yellow) and key (black to increase contrast), which are applied by screening. This is the technical basis of four-colour printing. If the basic colours are mixed, almost all possible shades of colour are produced. This is why CMYK colours are also called process colours. However, mixing the three colours does not produce pure black, so black has been added to pure black printing. Printing of image motifs according to Euroscala.

Glossary CMYK

What is coating?

Coating involves joining several layers of the same or different materials together. In doing so, it gives the printed product greater strength. This is usually done with a very thin plastic film made of polypropylene, PVC, polyester or acetate, which is applied over the entire surface of the printed sheet. This process is also known as film coating and protects catalogues and envelopes from wear and tear, among other things. 

Another effect is that this form of finishing also increases the perceived value, which is why it is also popular for business cards or flyers. Foil caoting also has the effect of increased colour brilliance and durability or the hand-flattering soft-touch effect.

When laminating, the basic surface structure is changed to a greater extent due to the greater film thickness than with coating, so that the image quality or print quality is better preserved with coating than with related laminating.

Glossary coating

What is Cretonne?

Cretonne is a light cotton fabric with a dull appearance and relatively firm handle in plain weave (one of the basic weaves). Compared to cotton canvas, cretonne has a coarser weave and is not as stiff. This makes for robustness in products made from cretonne.
Whether bleached, printed or dyed; cretonne is versatile, such as a sofa or chair cover or even a curtain. 

Cretonne can be used on both sides due to its plain weave, as it has no front or back due to the even arrangement of the fibres.

Glossary Cretonne

What does dpi mean?

dpi stands for dots per inch and means points per inch. One inch corresponds to a length of 2.54 cm.

In general, dpi means the resolution of a print file. If the resolution is too low, the result will appear blurred in the end. Therefore, print products should always be created with 300 dpi.

Examples to make dpi tangible:

  • Posters are viewed from a distance and therefore only need 200 dpi.
  • The standard number of 300 dpi is applied to a flyer with a font size of 12.
  • Detailed and smaller described flyers are printed with 400 dpi. 
  • Up to 600 dpi is needed when flyers are stretched to the size of a poster.

If graphics or fonts are constructed from vectors and not pixels, they can be enlarged as desired without any loss of quality.

A distinction must also be made between dpi and lpi. While the unit dpi deals with the resolution of the print file, the lpi deals with the lines per inch. This unit is relevant for the printing machine. 

Glossary dpi

What does ecotex-standard mean?

The ecotex standard certifies textiles of all kinds. This includes clothing, towels as well as accessories such as buttons and zips, labels etc. The textiles are tested for harmful substance residues. It is checked whether the limit values of harmful substances such as pesticide residues, formaldehyde or heavy metals are complied with.

The extensive catalogue of criteria is updated every year. The tests are carried out by independent eco-tex institutes worldwide.

The certification is divided into four product classes:

  • Product class 1: The strictest requirements are set for this class. These are products for babies.
  • Product class 2: This concerns products with close and constant skin contact. Examples are shirts, underwear and swimming trunks.
  • Product class 3: Articles with little skin contact such as belts, jackets and the like. This also includes Porto products.
  • Product class 4: Furnishing articles such as table runners and curtains.

What is embossing?

Embossing means the partial or flat profile-like reshaping of a material surface with the aid of pressure, temperature and time. 
With the help of an embossing stamp, elements are highlighted or deepened. This is a process that does not require any inks or foils. 
Embossing is particularly suitable for documents, for example, to make them more forgery-proof. 

Glossary Embossing

What is Euroscala?

Industrial colour printing with CMYK colours (four-colour printing) is also called printing according to the Euroscale, because the colour of the printing was based on an earlier European scale. Today, the term is used colloquially for European offset printing. 

The scale, which is designed for four-colour printing, is made up of the printing inks C,M,Y,K and determines the colour tone, saturation and printing sequence. The Euroscale serves as a reference for checking colours and is based on the ISO standard that standardises colour properties for colour manufacturers (ISO 2846).

Glossary Euroscala

What is fair trade cotton?

The "Fairtrade certified cotton" seal guarantees that farmers receive a minimum price for their cotton that allows them to make a living and that children in the countryside have the opportunity to attend school. Here, emphasis is placed on a long-term partnership with primarily small farmers. Although Fairtrade is not an organic label, it does promote organic farming, which is pursued, for example, through the ban on genetically modified seeds or the limited use of fertilisers and pesticides.
All production steps of the cotton must be directly traceable. In order to be able to contribute to guaranteeing the aforementioned parameters, a monitoring audit is carried out on average once a year by the Bonn-based FLO-CERT, an independent certification body.

Glossary Fair Trade Cotton

What is finishing?

Finishing of prints refers to the modification of the surface through an additional coating (lamination) or also varnishing, laser, laser cut or flocking. This can create special optical and haptic effects such as gloss by processing with gloss foil or structure. Furthermore, finishing also serves to protect the product, e.g. from scratches, and may also ensure a longer shelf life. This applies in particular to lamination.

Glossary Finishing

What is flexographic printing?

Flexographic printing is now the world's dominant packaging printing process. It belongs to the direct letterpress printing processes. Direct means that the ink is printed directly onto the print substrate. Letterpress means that the printing parts are raised and only the raised lines or areas are printed. In flexographic printing, the printing plates themselves are made of "flexible" materials such as rubber or photopolymer. The advantage of this process is that it is versatile and can be used to print on materials that other processes cannot handle. Flexographic printing is often compared to offset printing. However, this differs fundamentally from flexographic printing, as it is located in the area of the flat printing process.

Glossary flexo printing

What is FSC?

The abbreviation stands for Forest Stewardship Council. This is an international non-profit organisation that was founded in Bonn back in 1993. The occasion was the environmental summit in Rio De Janeiro in 1993.
FSC is a certification system for more sustainable forest management worldwide. FSC certificates are not awarded by the organisation itself, but by inspection bodies authorised by FSC. 
Worldwide, about 200 million hectares of forest are FSC-certified. The focus is on the increase of mixed forests and the increase of responsibility towards the environment and the coexistence of the parties involved in forest management. This means consideration and protection of species and ecosystems as well as fair remuneration for the people who work in the forest. Companies that certify themselves through the FSC standard not only add value to their own products, but also give their customers the opportunity to participate in the protection of nature and a balanced economic durability. To obtain an FSC label, ten principles and over 50 indicators must be met. The difference between the ISO standard and the FSC label is that ISO standards aim to improve the quality of products and the management of operations. The certificates do not apply to products. With the FSC seal, on the other hand, certificates can be issued directly and individually per product.

Glossary FSC

What is glossy foil?

With the help of a glossy foil, the printed product gets more brilliance. Especially with bright printing inks it unfolds its unique effect, which is caused by the extreme reflection of the foil and increases the luminosity of the colours. The film (gloss film, matt film, effect film, etc.) is bonded to the print product with the help of a film laminating machine. A distinction is made between wet lamination and thermal lamination. Ideally, the print product is made of coated paper weighing between 80 and 100 grams.

Glossary Glossy Film

What is the image quality?

The quality is also referred to in the literature as the so-called compression rate. Criteria such as contrast, colour reproduction, colour brilliance, density range, format and image sharpness are decisive for image quality. Basically, two programme settings are decisive: the colour depth and the resolution. The resolution is a measure of the ability to display two neighbouring dots separately from each other. It is given in dots per inch. The colour depth indicates how many colours can be displayed. The higher, more detailed and more colourful a document is, the higher the quality. The most important factor for image quality is the amount of light that shines on the light-sensitive material or sensor. 

Glossary Image Quality

What are image rights?

The image right is the author's right to his or her image. Thus, the photographer has the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the image. To use an image, you always need the consent of the author, as he or she has the right to the image. In addition, it is important that you obtain the consent for publication of the persons who are depicted in the respective image. This is referred to as the right of publication. The third component is that alienations and distortions of images and/or the persons depicted in them can be defended against through legal action. The author is also entitled to the right of naming the author, which presupposes the naming of third parties.

Glossary Image Rights

What is lamination?

Laminating is often equated with film coating. However, during lamination the film is applied to both sides of the substrate. With the help of pressure and heat, the films applied on both sides are fused together, as with thermal coating. The permanent protection against dirt and moisture is particularly interesting for products that are used frequently and where the risk of moisture penetration is high, such as city maps or menus. 
In addition, there is a difference in the thickness of the applied film. Laminating tends to use a thicker film, while lamination uses the thinnest possible film to preserve the surface structure. 

Glossary lamination

What is matt film?

The special feature of a matt film is the velvety and only slightly reflective surface and the changed feel - the printed product has a noticeably softer surface. 
It also looks particularly classy, as the lower light reflection creates a warming effect. 
Matt film is particularly eye-catching for flyers, business cards and brochures, as the limited reflection ensures good legibility of the type.
If desired, the products can be additionally finished with a different varnish in a second step to achieve partial highlighting. 

Glossary matt film

What is non-woven (bags)?

A non-woven fabric can be made of synthetic fibres such as polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), etc. or natural fibre fabrics such as skins of various types.

The difference between "non-woven" and "woven" lies in the origin of the word. English: "not woven"/"woven".

Here, the fleece is not woven but pressed and welded, resulting in a smooth surface with small indentations. Depending on the material, different binders are used.

The grammage is also decisive for the quality, durability and carrying capacity of non-woven bags. Compared to cotton, products made of "non-woven" materials have the advantage that they do not have to be washed. However, the very low price also has a disadvantage: unfortunately, photo printing is not possible. 

The best-known non-woven material is certainly felt.

Glossary non-woven bags

What is nylon?

Nylon is a synthetic polymer material that was the first fibre ever to be made entirely from inorganic substances such as air, water and carbon.

The decisive advantages of the material are its durability and elasticity. In addition, it does not chafe when worn and is therefore popular as a fabric for sportswear because it is breathable and does not absorb sweat in the fibres, like cotton for example, but releases it.

Due to its elasticity and tear resistance, it is also used for climbing ropes or parachutes, for example.

Glossary Nylon

What is offset printing?

Offset printing - "set off" in the sense of transferred.

In this indirect flat printing process, the printing plate and the printing substrate do not touch. The ink is first transferred to a blanket cylinder and then to the object to be printed (paper, plastic, glass, sheet metal, etc.). 
The way offset printing works is based on the principle that grease and water repel each other. During the printing process, the printing plate is moistened to wet the water-friendly parts and repel the ink. The grease-friendly parts, however, accept the ink. Compared to letterpress, the areas to be printed and the areas not to be printed are almost on the same level. Offset printing is capable of printing up to 70 lines per centimetre, whereas flexo printing can only apply 18 to 54 lines per centimetre. This promises a more detailed printed image the closer you look at the printed object.
In offset printing, the printed image is reproduced as often as desired from a printing plate. The CMYK standard colours are used. 

Due to the indirect process, a wide range of substrates are used, such as paper, ceramics, sheet metal, foil, glass, etc. The share of offset printing is nowadays about 1.5 %. Today, offset printing accounts for about 70% of the worldwide printing volume. 

Glossary offset printing

What is organic cotton?

Cotton fibre is one of the most important raw materials in the textile industry. About half of all textiles are made of cotton. However, hazardous toxins are used in the production and processing of the raw material, which are dangerous for both the environment and those involved in the production process. That is why we rely on organic cotton! Unlike bamboo viscose, cotton has a fibre-like structure. Organic cotton uses significantly less water, does not require chemical pesticides, produces its own seeds, often comes from small farmers and, last but not least, is gentler on the skin than synthetic fabrics such as nylon. In the case of Porto carrier bags, organic cotton is mainly used in the organic corduroy drawstring bags and in the organic gym bags, which offer a flexible and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional gym bags.

Organic Cotton Glossary

What is organic film?

Bio-based films are a sensible alternative to PE films. The term bio-film is used as a generic term for films that have sustainable and environmentally friendly properties and/or are made from sustainable raw materials. These consist of 95% renewable raw materials and 5% plastic. The most common renewable raw materials are maize, potatoes and sugar cane.
This saves resources, reduces the harmful effects on our environment and is significantly cheaper to dispose of. 

The definition of bio-film is subject to the DIN standard EN 13432, which states to what extent the product must be compostable. This means that the film must be converted into carbon dioxide within a certain period of time through biological decomposition processes by microorganisms. However, the standard only defines biodegradable films. However, a distinction can be made in the category of biobased films, which are produced from 20-100% sustainable raw materials. Here the definition is subject to the ASTM D6866 standard of the USDA.

Our bio films are glossy, highly transparent and printable. They can be used in the food sector as well as in the non-food sector. 

Glossary Organic Foil

What does Pantone Matching System stand for?

In contrast to four-colour printing, the Pantone Matching System is based on pure colours printed as solids. The Pantone Matching System has been on the market since 1963 and serves to systematise colours and pigments. The colour guides support designers in determining and realising certain colours. 
The basis is formed by 18 basic colours, which are mixed with each other to produce 2161 further colours. Each colour has an individual number and can thus be clearly identified. Pantone also provides information about the substrate, as this influences the effect of the colour. In the past, the colours were only reproduced on paper types, but today they can also be found on textile materials. It is the most widely used system in the design and printing industry worldwide.

Glossary Pantone Maching System

What is partial UV coating?

In general, partial UV varnishing is also referred to as spot varnishing. Partial UV varnishing provides special visual attention to a specific area within the print surface. This allows the most important elements of the printed product (e.g. logo or company name) to be highlighted by a wafer-thin layer of UV varnish, as the light reflects particularly well at these points and also creates a special haptic effect, similar to glossy foil.

Glossary partial UV coating

What is PE Polyethylene?

Polyethylene is the most widely used plastic. This semi-crystalline, thermoplastic plastic is produced by polymerising ethene.

Due to the different densities, a distinction is made between 4 main types: 

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)

Weakly branched polymer chains (adj. [old Greek]: polymer: made up of many parts) with high density. HDPE is characterised by high tensile strength and stability.

MDPE (Medium Density Polyethylene)

Polyethylene with medium density.

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)

Polyethylene with low density. This is the plastic most commonly used for bags and packaging. It is used, for example, in coatings for Tetrapaks or as cling film.

LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene)

Linear plyethylene. The difference lies in the molecular structure, which has only short branches.

PET - Polyethylene terephthalate

Originally, polyethylene terephthalate was only used for fibres. Today, however, about a quarter of the quantity produced is used for packaging. PET fibres are now also made from recycled PET bottles and the large proportion of bottles produced in Germany are recycled after use into polyester fibres for fleece fabrics.

Glossary PE polyethylene

What is PP Polypropylene?

Colloquially referred to as "plastic", polypropylene (PP) is a plastic produced by a complex manufacturing process, which means that it is not a sustainable and renewable raw material such as bamboo, wood or cotton. 
Because PP does not contain any harmful softeners, is odourless, skin-friendly, water-repellent and also the lightest commercially available fibre, it is often used for sports textiles.
Another advantage over other types of plastic is that it is comparatively easy to recycle. 

Glossary PP Polypropylene

What is prepress?

Prepress, prepress or reproduction technology all refer to the same sub-process of printing. A part of prepress is also printing screening, which enables the screening of half-tone images such as colour tones and greyscales.
As the term "pre-press" suggests, it refers to all the processes that happen before the actual printing. This includes, for example, data preparation, image processing, scanning, layout creation, etc. of the various parties involved, such as the customer, agency, publisher.

The aim is to combine texts, images and graphics into artwork and prepare it for printing. Today, mainly in the form of a PDF. 

Glossary Prepress

What are primary colours?

A primary colour is a colour that is not created by mixing with other colours, but is printed unmixed. Primary colours are therefore the origin of all other colours and are thus considered basic psychological colours. Red, green, blue and yellow are seen as primary colours, although the definition varies from person to person. Primary colours have the so-called intrinsic brightness and also have the greatest saturation in the colour wheel.

Glossary primary colours

What is a printing area?

The printing area is the area that is covered with ink. For example, the front and back, the sides and the bottom of a bag can be printed. 
The maximum printing area depends of course on the desired bag size. Depending on whether you want to print a paper bag or a canvas duffel bag, the print area will naturally vary. 

Glossary printing area

What is a printing grid?

Most printing processes can either print to a specific location or not when printing itself. In doing so, they work with the CMYK colour system. This means that it is not possible to create brightness gradations by using reduced amounts of colour. Mixing colours, as in painting, is also not possible.

To make a colour appear lighter or darker on printed products, each pixel is represented by several dots. A calculated free space (screen ruling) is deliberately left between the colour dots (screen frequency) so that the eye recognises a mixed tone in total. These dots are arranged in a fixed grid structure - the printing grid.

Glossary Printing Grid

What is a printing plate?

"Cliché" is derived from the French word "cliché" and can be translated as "to imitate". The first clichés were already created at the beginning of the 19th century and were stamp-like printing forms that were mainly needed for printing books and newspapers. As a stencil, they could be used as often as desired. Today, clichés are used to transfer ink to the printed product in a letterpress process. The cliché itself can be made of copper, zinc, plastic or, in modern flexo printing, photopolymer.
Basically, a cliché works like a stamp or embossing. The actual printed image is higher than the parts not to be printed, which are cut out before the ink is applied.
Cliché costs are always incurred for the production of a cliché and depend on the size, complexity and number of inks used. 

Glossary printing plate

What is protective lacquer?

A protective lacquer on printed products is a colourless lacquer layer (matt or glossy) that is applied with the help of a normal printing machine. 
This increases the abrasion resistance as well as the gloss of the product. Today, we mainly work with water-based dispersion varnish. 
We offer varnishes in a wide variety of forms:

  • Screen printing UV lacquer (up to 98 gloss points) 

A very high gloss is achieved by applying the lacquer using a screen.  The disadvantage, however, is that the surface is not completely insensitive. 

  • Offset UV lacquer (up to 90 gloss points) 

This coating is best suited for long runs as well as foils and packaging. Another advantage is the high elasticity as well as a high gloss / matt effect. 

  • Dispersion lacquer matt (10-15 gloss points, glossy up to 85 gloss points) 

This is the standard coating in offset production with a high gloss or matt effect.

  • Drip-off lacquer, difference gloss/matt 

This coating is used when you want to create a contrast between glossy and matt areas. Two types of lacquer are combined to achieve the effect that the lacquer would run off or drip off.  

  • Relief lacquer 

Since this lacquer was developed from Braille applications, it offers a third dimension to the printed product - a thick, tactile surface structure.  

 The effect is particularly effective on uncoated papers.

Glossary protective lacquer

What is recycled film?

Recycled film is a reprocessed film that consists of up to 95% recycled material. The recycled material is also called recyclate and is produced in granulate form. For use, it is melted down and then cast into the respective mould. The film can be recycled indefinitely and is safe for food.
In principle, it is a cost-effective alternative to other sustainable products. It should be noted, however, that the material has a slight grey tint. Recycled films have the advantage that, unlike paper, they can be recycled without any reduction in quality. 

Glossary Recycling Foil

What is a relief/letterpress printing?

Relief (letterpress) printing is the oldest printing process. This stamp printing has been used to reproduce individual texts since the 8th century. The revolution came with Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century, when the development of the printing press and individual letters made flexible design possibilities possible. This made it possible to produce a large number of duplicates in a short time.
The letterpress process, as the word "letterpress" already expresses, describes the procedure of printing. The printing plates are raised, as in the case of a stamp, for example. Ink is applied to these raised areas and placed on the print substrate. The direct print image must be applied mirror-inverted to the printing plate in order to be correctly represented on the paper. A concrete letterpress process is the so-called flexographic printing.
Due to the cost-intensive production of the printing formes, offset printing or digital printing is more commonly used today. 

Glossary relief printing

What is screen printing?

Screen printing is a printing process using stencils. It is mostly used on clothing, such as T-shirt designs. The stencils are made of polyester, nylon or even steel mesh, depending on the type of use. They can also be used to print very detailed graphics, as the ink is printed through a fine mesh fabric onto the corresponding material such as paper, over wood, glass, metal and many more, with the help of a rubber squeegee. Where nothing is to be printed, a stencil makes the material impermeable to ink.

However, the printing speed is rather low compared to other processes.

Glossary Screen Printing

What is screen ruling?

The screen ruling is a measure of the fineness of a print screen (size of the screen dots and distance between the dots). This is given in lines per cm (L/cm) or lines per inch (lpi). Halftones are used to reproduce tonal value gradients in colour areas or images. In order for the eye to perceive colour gradients as flowing, the screen should be chosen very finely for images. This is in contrast to large-format posters, where the distance of the viewer is so great that a screen ruling of 10 L/cm is sufficient.

The screen ruling thus indicates how many printing dots occur per unit of length. 
As an example, the usual screen ruling in offset printing is 70 L/cm = 70 screen and means that the image is divided into 70 x 70 horizontal and vertical screen dots. In flexo printing, the usual screen ruling is between 18 and 54L/cm.

Glossary Screen ruling

What is soft touch film?

Soft touch film is a form of so-called lamination. This is a finishing process in which a film is applied to the entire surface of the printed sheet.

A special form of this is the soft-touch film.

With a soft-touch foil, printed products can be refined in offset printing for very special occasions. The special surface texture makes the product appear particularly soft and velvety, like a peach surface. Soft-touch film is often used for business cards, flyers or menus. The special feel creates a very high-quality impression of the product, which is a pleasure to touch. In combination with a partial UV varnish, the appearance and value are increased even further.

Glossary Soft Touch Film

What is thermal lamination?

Basically, the thermal lamination process is the same as wet lamination.
However, there is no heating in the drying tower, as the adhesive is already on the film. The film is unrolled and runs over a heated roller so that the adhesive can be melted and laminated directly onto the substrate. Pressure is then applied to bond the film to the paper. The paper sheets can also be laminated in strips only. 
It should be noted, however, that the product variety is limited with thermal lamination, as the high temperatures can have an influence on the printing ink. 
The same applies to laminating. 

Glossary Thermal lamination

What is wet lamination?

In wet lamination, liquid adhesive is applied to the entire surface of the film via a roller. The wetted film is then dried over heated steel rollers and the adhesive obtains its necessary viscosity and can later form the desired bond with the surface. The next step is lamination onto the printed sheet. A pressure roller is used to press the film onto the sheet. The pressure enables better contact between the two materials and any air bubbles that may have formed can escape. 
This process offers a good bond through liquid adhesive and is relatively inexpensive. 

Glossary wet lamination

What is Woven?

In textile production, woven refers to the way in which the materials used are manufactured. In woven, fabrics are produced by interweaving (interlacing) warp and weft threads. In the past, clothiers used to make cloth from sheep's wool.

The higher the density of the interwoven threads, the higher the resilience of these fabrics. Examples here are products made of cotton fibres.

The opposite of this is "non-woven". Non-woven materials are pressed and welded to create a smooth surface.

Glossary Woven Structure 1
Glossary Woven Structure 2