Folding Glossy Paper – The Do’s and Don’ts

Paper Folding MachinesSo this is the question posed to me on an almost weekly basis. Can a paper folding machine handle glossy paper? They can, but you have to have the right machine. Here are a few tips to help you find a machine that will properly handle your glossy and coated paper.

There is a lot of love out there for glossy paper. This paper does have a professional look to it and is very popular for brochures. Most people who fold glossy paper don’t need anything fancy. They usually need something simple, like a letter fold or an accordion fold.

There are two types of paper folding machines. These types are friction-feed and air-feed. Here is a quick breakdown on what they are:

Friction Feed – Friction-feed paper folding machines use rubber rollers to pull paper into the machine for folding.

Friction-feed paper folding machines make up about 90% of the machines used today. This is because they are typically more compact and less expensive. The only problem is that the friction wheels slide around on glossy paper like ice-skates on a lake.

Air Feed (aka Air Suction or Pneumatic) – Air-feed paper folding machines use air to suck paper into the machine.

Air-feed paper folding machines suck glossy paper into the machine just as easily as standard non-glossy paper. They have absolutely no problem handling coated and glossy paper. The only downside is that they have a built-in compressor, making them a little bigger, and I have found that they tend to make more noise.

So can you use coated or glossy paper in a friction-feed folding machine? The official answer is no. The unofficial answer is sometimes. If the paper is coated, but not too slick, it can often be used in a friction-feed folding machine. The only problem is that there are no guarantees.

If you are on a budget, and can’t afford an air-feed paper folding machine, feel free to send in your paper and we can run it on one of our machines. While I can’t guarantee it will always work, I can at least let you know if it is compatible. Call us at 1-800-658-8788 to set up sending in samples.

You can find our entire selection of friction-feed paper folding machines here and our air-feed paper folders here.

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2 Responses to “Folding Glossy Paper – The Do’s and Don’ts”

  1. winnie Says:

    Will 80# Dull/matte text paper work on friction fed folders? Thx.

  2. Dave Says:

    It really depends on how slick the surface is. A dull / matte finish should work, but I would recommend sending in a few samples prior to ordering a machine. We have most of the machines we sell on our showroom floor and can test just about anything. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to set up sending in some samples.

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