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Water Slide Decals

During the 1920’s to the 1940’s, Water Slide Decals were used in early automotive and marine industries. It was an easy method of marking products in mass production without having to apply wet ink to the product during its manufacture, saving time. Today, Water Slide Decals are first produced by either a screen print or digital process, then the decals have two simple but critical materials to incorporate. The first is a gum glue paper that the decals will be printed on. The glue is water soluble and the back of the paper is porous. The second material involved is the clear coat or ‘cover coat’ that is equivalent to a pre-mask on a vinyl decal. After the printing is completed and dried it is ready for application. The decal is immersed in warm water and the glue softens in seconds allowing the decal to “slide” off the paper and on to the product.  The water is gently squeezed out of the decal and left to set-up in its finished position to dry. Soaking the decal too long will soften the ink and the clear cover coat, possibly destroying it.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2018