What is a Laminating Pouch?

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  • Written By: Michael Giuffre
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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Laminating pouches allow the consumer to protect a document within a layer of plastic material by process of lamination. It is quite common for people to laminate things such as luggage tags, work ID cards, personal identification cards, library cards, and other documents of importance. Lamination helps to preserve the document and strengthen its pliability. The process requires three things: The laminator, the laminating pouch and the document to be laminated.

Laminators are size specific. In other words, most laminators require you to use only laminating pouches that are equal to or smaller than the maximum capacity of the machine. Additionally, laminating pouches are rated by their thickness. Thickness measurements for laminating pouches are measured in one "mil" increments. Mil thicknesses commonly sold to the public are between three (thin) and ten mil (thick). As a frame of reference a mil is one thousandth of an inch, or .001 inches (.025cm); glossy photographic paper, for example, is usually 10 mils thick. Of course there are thicker laminating pouches, but they are most often used in industrial applications.

It is important to ensure that the laminator can accommodate both the thickness and dimensions of the laminating pouch that you intend to use. Keep in mind that you can trim any excess material from the laminating pouch either before or after the laminating process.


Many of the work identification cards and driver's licenses that you may have seen are often laminated in laminating pouches. These pouches may contain embedded holograms to ensure authenticity, while others may include a magnetic strip on the back of the card. Both of these enhancements provide diversity in the pouches and allow employers to create and verify authentic copies of their employee IDs. The U.S. State Department uses such measures to distinguish real licenses from counterfeits. While magnetic strips can be scanned for information and authentication, holograms are a clear visual sign that a document is real and original. There is virtually no limit to the combination of holograms and magnetic strips that can be embedded into a lamination pouch.


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