Helpful Hints

Tips on Avoiding Folding Snafus

Great folding can make average print designs spring to life. Often taken for granted by those who don't know better, folding remains an essential part in the post press workflow. At Seidl's Bindery, we ensure your folding project turns out exactly as planned, whether it calls for a parallel, roll, gate or accordion folding sequence.
For most projects, an accurate layout is vitally important because a 1/16th or even 1/32nd of an inch can make the difference between success and unwanted compromise. Let your friends at Seidl's Bindery show you how to ensure your folding designs turn into the fine finished products you and your customers expect.
Here are a few tricks to avoid some of the common snafus encountered in folding projects:
  • Fold with the Paper Grain: Many folding issues can be traced to a layout that failed to consider the impact of wrong paper grain direction. Layout your projects so the most obvious outside folds are parallel with the paper grain direction. This is especially important if your project includes heavy, dark ink coverage, or is printed on a thicker stock brittle stock.
  • Eliminate Paper Stress: Folding projects that are poorly planned can create paper stress during right-angle folding and this can be a huge problem. The structure of paper is such that it is stronger under tension than under compression. When poorly designed folding sequences cause two panels to "fight," the top one under tension always wins, while the bottom one under compression always wrinkles.
  • Watch for Cracking: Paper fibers can break during folding, resulting in cracking which usually occurs on the first fold. Choosing proper fold plates, machines, and production techniques helps eliminate some of these problems.
  • Beware of Brittle Inks: Inks tend to be brittle and may crack when bent, exposing raw paper fibers underneath. The problem may be corrected by choosing fold plates and folding machines to minimize paper stress, or by adding moisture to the surface, which is known as a wet score. Sometimes simply slowing down the folder will do the trick too.
The Seidl's Advantage
Rely on Seidl's Bindery as your single post press resource. We offer a complete range of folding capabilities, including parallel, roll, gate and accordion folding styles for both large- and small-format applications. We can also integrate folding with many other post press services, including PUR adhesive binding, Wire-O binding, plastic spiral and spiral wire binding, saddle stitching, cutting, fugitive and remoistenable gluing, die cutting, film laminating, index tabbing and more. Give us a call and let us help you with your next project.