What is a UV varnish and what is the difference from lamination?

UV varnish is a hard cured coating that is applied to the printed label or flexible packaging film. It is a popular option as it helps protect the printed graphics from scratching during shipping and handling. It will also add a gloss for matte finish to the finished product. A lamination is a clear or matte film applied over the printed graphics. It offers several advantages over a varnish by adding rigidity to thin films to assist in machine application and adding superior scratch and chemical resistance to the printed graphics. A varnish is typically the least expensive as it uses less material than lamination. There are also various grades of lamination to satisfy requirements such as high clarity, provide additional fade resistance or fulfill UL certifications.