Five Factors of a Remoist Glue Application

by Rickard Bindery

Short-run remoist glue jobs have become more practical because the current crop of machines on the market yield high-quality jobs at good production rates. Often used for direct mail applications, printed pieces featuring remoist glue offer consumers easy ways to respond and are more effective than those without. There are five key factors of a successful remoist glue application.

Knowing the characteristics of the chosen paper is important. Remoist glue rests on the surface of enamel stock, yet is able to create a good bond when moisture-activated. Uncoated stock also generally works fine but will normally require a heavier line of glue since it is more porous and some will seep into the sheet.

Understanding the difference between water soluble and hot melt glue is important. Ask the bindery which glue it intends to use for the project and why.

Generally, remoist glue can be applied over ink with fine results, but problems may occur when activated glue needs to adhere to paper with 100-percent ink coverage. Be safe and plan the artwork so that remoist glue doesn’t require adhesion to heavy ink solids.

Remoist glue doesn’t adhere to paper coatings, such as varnish. If a project requires flood varnishing a sheet, change the design to spot and knock out varnish from where the remoist strip is to be applied and adhered.

Atmospheric conditions
In high humidity areas, it’s essential to apply water-soluble remoist glue in a climate controlled environment. Regardless of glue type, be safe and include a moisture-absorbing packet in each box. These packets draw moisture out of contained areas and prevent remoist glue from unintentionally bonding. Even perfectly manufactured remoist glue products sometimes will unintentionally bond inside a hot truck, so all preventative measures should be taken.

Other layout considerations to make note of include unintentional adhesion and flatbed trimming. Unintentional adhesion can occur when glue strips are directly in contact with each other face-to-face, especially during shipping. Staggering designs so that glue strips avoid contact with each other is a much better way to plan a job. Avoid flatbed trimming after remoist glue application because it may cause a series of three problems.

  • Productivity will decline because sheets will have to be cut in very small lifts in order to clamp properly and not tear due to inadequate clamp pressure.
  • Glue bulk will raise a bump in each lift resulting in the top sheets being longer than the bottom ones after trimming.
  • Cutting through remoist glue wreaks havoc on knives; especially those super-hardened for long life.

This excerpt from “Offline Remoist Glue Applications” by Jack Rickard was reprinted with permission. Read the full article.

Rickard Bindery, Chicago, IL, specializes in discovering solutions to challenging folding, saddlestitching, gluing and other bindery jobs. For more information, call 800.747.1389 or visit