Printing Recommendations

Zodia® Printing Recommendations

Zodia® is a  waterproof synthetic paper and 100% recyclable with attributes and properties that make it the perfect solution for various graphic, packaging, labeling, and design needs. Manufactured by the calendering process begins with extruding polypropylene pellets and combining polypropylene with other chemical ingredients. The result is a highly durable, dimensionally stable, synthetic printing paper that’s water repellent, flexible, tear-resistant, scuff-resistant, and chemical resistant. 

This technical guide is a part of our proactive focus on educating our customers to assist them at each stage of their synthetic project. If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas about this or any other matter, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-263-5995 or

Initial Project Planning

  • Pre-test with samples of Zodia® using the intended design, inks, coatings, varnishes, adhesives, laminations, binding methods, and finishing techniques. We recommend ink drawn-down.  
  • Discuss each project (application) with your suppliers and ask for their recommended products.
  • Confirm the compatibility of the fountain solution making sure that it is compatible with printing oxidizing inks on a synthetic substrate.
  • Avoid the following pigments if applying an aqueous coating because the color may burn out: red-lake C, warm red, reflex blue, purple, violet, rhodamine. We do not recommend fluorescent and metallic inks. Your ink supplier can provide substitute pigment that will be more stable.
  • Consider the grain direction for finishing operations such as folding, scoring,and perforating. Zodia® supplies grain long unless otherwise specified.
  • Set aside enough delivery boards to be able to track jobs on 4-inch lifts.
  • Avoid inside die-cuts less than or equal to 90 degrees. We recommend 1/16″ rounded corners, including binding.
  • Allow for at least 24 hours to acclimate to pressroom conditions before unwrapping.
  • Expect 24 hours of dry-time between printing the first and second sides on two-sided jobs. 

Pre-Press Recommendations

  • Compensate for 4 – 7% more dot gain, between the quarter and three-quarter tone, than on coated papers.
  • Use Under Color Removal (UCR) and Grey Component Replacement (GCR) whenever possible.
  • Avoid Total Area Coverage (TAC) greater than 300% if possible.
  • Use sharp, nick-free blades when trimming.

Printing Recommendations

Ink and water balance on Zodia® are critical when printing on conventional paper stocks as Zodia® does not absorb water, and therefore very little water is needed (probably less than half of that required to print paper). 

The plate requires only enough water to keep the surface wet, and any more will only cause problems.

  • Run speed is typically not more than 7,000 impressions per hour.
  • Use the thinnest ink, coating, varnish—film-thickness. Solid ink density targets: K-1.65; C&M-1.30; Y-0.95
  • On two side print jobs print the side with the lower amount of ink coverage first.
  • Zodia does not have the same finish on both sides of the sheet. Matching an image can be achieved by increasing the ink density on the rougher side.
  • Dry dust on any available open units to remove filler dust from the surface of the sheet.
  • Use the thinnest possible film-thickness of aqueous coating or overprint varnish.
  • Wind the loads soon after the ink sets.
  • The side of the form with the lighter ink coverage should be printed first.
  • If using an aqueous coating, wind the loads within one hour after printing and again within four hours.
  • Add dryer to the ink, particularly with light ink coverage forms, and use take-off bars to prevent over-emulsification.
  • For the best results, use a freshly mixed alcohol-based fountain solution. Avoid etches or substitutes that contain high percentages of glycerin because they retard drying. Do not use fountain solution stimulator driers.
  • Use metal plates that carry minimal water. Do not use paper or polyester plates.
  • Maintain fountain solutions between 4.5 – 5.5pH.
  • If backing up, avoid using drying agents on the first side printed, or wind quickly after the inks set.
  • To avoid static, maintain 50% to 55% relative humidity. Also, use anti-static equipment such as ionizing air units at the feeder and delivery.
  • To avoid marking, minimize the pressure of suckers and feeder-board wheels/brushes.
  • Wash blankets to remove filler dust, typically 2,000 to 3,000 sheets, or as ink density decreases in the shadow tones

    Delivery Recommendations

  1. Rack the lifts on one-piece delivery boards up to 4 inches, depending on the amount of ink coverage.
  2. Printed sheets should fall gently onto the pile.
  3. Do not use encapsulated spray powder.
  4. Spray powder volume should be the same as when running a premium matte-coated sheet.
  5. For most jobs, use 20 to 25-micron particle size spray powder.
  6. To avoid set-off, move/wind the printed loads with care.
  7. Wind the lifts after ink sets to promote drying and to avoid gas ghosting on the backside.
  8. Re-rack winded lifts in small piles.
  9. The temperature should be run at 95°F – use IR dryers and air knives.

Product Recommendations

The success of your project depends upon your ability to communicate with all involved parties/companies: designer, printer, Zodia®, fountain solution, ink, coating, varnish, finisher.

Moreover, each supplier should be consulted prior to production about the details of the project. This includes communicating your expectations (fade-resistant, alcohol resistant, scuff resistant, and shelf life) of the project and letting them recommend their products for you.

Post Press Recommendations

  1. Always test adhesives, the design, laminations, and bindery processes before actual production runs.
  2. Dies, drill bits, and blades must be sharp and nick-free to prevent tears from developing.
  3. Do not exceed one-inch stack height when drilling.  Otherwise, Zodia® may distort or melt.
  4. Zodia® folds and perforates better perpendicular to the grain direction.
  5. Avoid folds that cause air entrapment.
  6. Due to the waterproof nature of the stock, hot melt glue or double-sided tape is required for gluing.
  7. Zodia® can be perfect bound. We recommend PUR adhesive. 
  8. Store printed loads in a clean, climate-controlled environment.

Aqueous Coating Recommendations

Aqueous coatings formulated for Zodia® can be used. Note: Most work and turn coatings are seal-coats; therefore, they would seal off oxygen from the oxidizing inks and prevent the inks from drying. However, coatings formulated for Zodia® are porous, like a primer; therefore, oxygen can permeate through the aqueous coating, dry the inks, and then come back out of the aqueous coating. Contact coating suppliers for product recommendations.

  • A press equipped with an extended delivery should be able to run aqueous coatings in-line successfully
  • The aqueous coating should not be run in-line on a press with a short delivery unless recommended by the supplier.
  • Strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications (viscosity, pile height, temperature, winding instructions, and compatibility concerns).
  • Maximize airflow, not necessarily heat, to ensure complete drying of the coating.
  • Pay close attention to the pile temperature: side one: 95°-100°F; side two: 90°-95°F.
  • The maximum lift size should be 3 inches.
  • Minimize the use of spray powder. You may want to use coarser powder on the second side.
  • Wind the lifts within 45 minutes to prevent set-off and to assist in drying.
  • More attention and control are required for two-sided aqueous jobs.
  • The top side must be completely dry and cool before coating the second side.
  • Decrease press speed on the second side.
  • Apply a thinner coat on the second side with a lower viscosity. . Check with the coating manufacturer for specific recommendations.
  • Wind the lifts within 45 minutes to prevent set-off and to assist in drying. Do not stack piles after winding – re-rack on delivery boards.

We are always interested in how your company is using Zodia®. We would love to receive a sample of your work.

Would you please send finished samples to:

2370 Meadowvale Rd, Unit #2
Mississauga, Ontario
L5N 0H1, Canada