Strength in Papers
Though McCarthy does not specifically address waterproof paper, she advocates a similar theory: Knowing the kind of paper needed that is best-suited to a project is imperative. And for these waterproof books, the proof is in the power of pulp.
Mainthow agrees, explaining that TruTech papers can also be customized with varying surfaces that resemble linen or parchment.
PolyArt also gives good results with foil stamping, if heat is kept to a minimum. Additionally, for die-cutting, Arjobex suggests that retention points be kept as small as possible to prevent tearing. The results can, says Arjobex, also be saddle-stitched or section-sewn for added durability.
The good, the bad and the washable
At Melcher Media, waterproof DuraBooks also patent a specialty process for use with super-substrates—at bath time.
"There are many reasons why DuraBooks are an exciting new breakthrough," says Charles Melcher, publisher of Melcher Media. "But my favorite is that they finally solve the age-old problem of how to completely relax with a good book in the bath tub."
According to Melcher, "DuraBooks look and feel like ordinary books, but are constructed of tear- and stain-resistant synthetic paper, enabling them to withstand a wide variety of real-life situations, such as exposure to water or dirt." DuraBooks can be cleaned and are also grease-resistant. "Though the DuraBooks spine looks like a traditional binding…the binding process is actually much sturdier than any paper or hardcover book binding," attests Melcher. What makes the books stand-up to the test of water is synthetic binding that does not deteriorate like most thread-based, glue-stitched types. The company says it has been tested to hold-up to the same extreme conditions as the DuraBooks paper.
Made of stretched polymers, DuraBooks paper is manufactured as a type of polypropylene that's coated to maintain ink hold-out under potentially damaging conditions. It does not use any wood pulp or cotton fiber—only plastic resins and inorganic fibers. The plastic is actually extruded and stretched before its surface is treated to enhance printing performance.