What Is Self Adhesive Vinyl?

What Is Self Adhesive Vinyl?


Self-adhesive vinyl is actually widely used in many ways, but many people don't know its characteristics. This article will specifically introduce what Self adhesive vinyl is.

What Is Self Adhesive Vinyl?
Self-adhesive vinyl is basically very thin waterproof plastic (PVC) and sticky-backed, it can be made into or used for all manner of labelling, graphics, markings etc. If you think about it, there’s absolutely no difference between a huge printed graphic on the side of a bus or a tiny label that goes onto something.

Self-adhesive vinyl is made of three bits:

The thin PVC film

This is the waterproof film that gets printed on.

For the vast majority of printed work, this is either WHITE or CLEAR, although it is available in a whole range of colours and metallics etc for either cut-out coloured lettering (with no printing), or more specialist metallic, dayglo, glow in the dark or other things.

The thickness of the vinyl film also varies. The average is about 90/100 micron, although it is available thinner. Surprisingly, thinner vinyl is more expensive, as it’s made in a different way to be more pliable, softer and flexible. This is important for fitting onto some awkward things like vehicles where the panels aren’t flat. This is called Calendared vinyl.

The Adhesive

This is the glue that is coated onto the back of the self-adhesive vinyl film.

There are different types of adhesive, mainly:

Ultra removable

This is a very low tack adhesive that is used where the label or graphic needs to stick but be easy to peel off without leaving any mess behind.


This is a stronger adhesive, but still removable, as above. HOWEVER, if it’s left for a long time, it does become quite hard to get off!


This is as it says, permanent. It sticks permanently, once it’s had time to ‘set’ It can be removed by warming it up with something like a hairdryer, as this softens the adhesive.

High Tack

This isn’t any more permanent than Permanent, but it is ‘stickier’, and it has more ‘grab’ than the other adhesives. It’s used where the label/graphic is going onto awkward surfaces that other adhesives don’t like to stick to.
The backing paper

This is a waxy paper that the vinyl comes stuck to. When labels are ‘kiss cut’ to shape, only the surface vinyl is cut through, leaving the backing paper intact as a backing sheet.

In some end-uses, a surface over-laminate is applied, after the printing, on top of the ink.

This gives the ink (and vinyl) and protective layer to stop it scuffing off, and makes the sticker more hard-wearing. As it’s another process, it obviously adds more cost to the price of making the stickers/labels. There are different laminates available: Matt, gloss, anti-slip (for floor graphics), dry wipe, etc.

We are a very professional provider of materials used for advertising, digital printing and construction, we are committed to providing customers with high-quality products and services. If you want to buy our high-quality self adhesive viny, please contact us immediately!