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Weatherproof Labels

What’s the Difference Between Polyester and Polyethylene Waterproof/Weatherproof Labels?

Matt White Polyester (MWP) labels and Matt White Polyethylene (MWPE) labels are both waterproof labels that are suitable for a range of tough applications such as labelling chemicals, oil drums, containers, bottles, metal and surfaces exposed to the outdoor weather.  While they are both similar in their range of applications there are some subtle differences which can affect usage.  In order to understand how these differences affect the usage applications let’s take a look at some of the traits of these labels.

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Adhesive Quality

When used on a clean, flat metal surface you would not notice much difference between MWPE and MWP labels but on a very rough or chemically unusual surface, the difference is much more noticeable.  MWPE has a more aggressive adhesive which means it will work far better in challenging conditions while MWP may struggle to stick in these conditions.


If you’re in need of a waterproof label that is easy to print yet still durable then MWP is the most straightforward option for you and one that can be printed using a laser printer.  MWPE labels are notably thicker than standard paper so it is important to set any printer to account for this.  MWPE labels are compatible with inkjet printers but a trial would be recommended to confirm.


MWP labels do not stretch whereas MWPE labels are more flexible, so depending on how you want your labels to handle will decide on which characteristic you’d prefer. Handling wise MWPE are generally considered to be easier to peel from the sheet and handle then MWP.


Both MWP and MWPE waterproof labels are suitable for a range of tough applications and some examples of these include: chemical drums, bottle labels, exterior signs, agricultural use, garden centre labels, farm produce labels, white good serial labels and hundreds of other uses.  MWPE labels can be fully submerged in water are designed for use on chemical drums and curved surfaces while MWP labels are resistant to a wider range of chemicals.

Quick Reference Guide:

MWP: Less flexible waterproof label that offers good tear resistance and good weathering.  Not compatible with inkjet printing methods.

MWPE: Flexible label that is easier to handle than MWP thanks to its resistance to static.  Compatible with inkjet printing methods.  MWPE labels conform to difficult shapes better than other waterproof labels and can be used with an inkjet printer.