Encapsulating catalogues is an effective and highly cost efficient way to preserve them, giving a much longer useful life and saving on printing and distribution costs. Encapsulating catalogues is infinitely preferable to simply laminating them, as lamination only covers ones side of the page. Although this still provides valuable protection against the damage and dirt that accumulates with use, it is not sufficient to guarantee long term preservation. Encapsulation, however, is enough to keep catalogues in pristine condition for as long as they remain current.
The main difference between encapsulating and laminating is not a question of the films used for each procedure. Encapsulation film and laminating film are one and the same thing, in most cases. But encapsulation involves sealing the catalogue pages within a complete casing of film, which prevents air, moisture or dirt penetrating. Whereas lamination normally only covers one side of the document.
Often, encapsulation will use a heavy grade Encapsulation Film that seals the document into a semi rigid protective cocoon. A popular alternative for encapsulation is to use pre-cut encapsulation pouches. These are a very cost effective alternative to buying large rolls of encapsulating film, for those who carry out relatively small quantities of encapsulation. At the very least, pouches avoid the need to buy large rolls of film of a sort that the user may never finish.