Narrow Web Flexo Printing: A Descriptive Guide

What is Narrow Web Flexo Printing?

Narrow web flexo printing is a type of flexographic printing that utilizes a narrow web of material, typically between 10 and 16 inches wide. This versatile printing method is suitable for a wide range of products, including labels, tags, shrink sleeves, and flexible packaging.

The process of narrow web flexo printing involves several steps, from pre-press to finishing, to ensure high-quality results and those steps are mention below:-


  1. Artwork Creation: The first step is to create the artwork for the product. This can be done using graphic design software.
  2. Plate Making: Once the artwork is finalized, it is used to create a printing plate. The plate is typically made of a photopolymer material that is sensitive to light.
  3. Plate Exposure: The plate is exposed to light to create a raised image of the artwork. The depth of the raised image determines the amount of ink that will be transferred to the substrate.


  1. Unwinding: The substrate, such as paper or film, is unwound from a roll and fed into the printing press.
  2. Printing: The printing plate is inked and then pressed against the substrate, transferring the ink to the substrate. The press repeats this process for each color in the artwork.
  3. Drying: The printed substrate is passed through a drying oven to dry the ink. UV-curable inks are commonly used in narrow web flexo printing, as they dry rapidly under ultraviolet light.


  1. Converting: The printed substrate may undergo various finishing processes, such as die-cutting, embossing, or laminating, to create the desired product.
  2. Inspection: The finished products are inspected for quality to ensure that they meet the customer’s specifications.

Key Characteristics of Narrow Web Flexo Printing

Following are the characteristics of  Narrow Web Printing:-

  1. Web Width: The defining feature of narrow web flexo printing is its use of a narrower web compared to wide web flexo printing. This allows for more efficient production of smaller-sized products and shorter print runs.
  2. UV-Curable Inks: Narrow web printing often employs UV-curable inks, which dry rapidly under ultraviolet light. This eliminates the need for additional drying equipment and reduces ink-related costs.
  3. Slower-Drying Inks: While UV-curable inks are commonly used, narrow web printing can also employ water-based inks, which tend to dry slower. This allows for more time for ink absorption into the substrate.
  4. Reduced Waste: Narrow web flexo printing generally produces less waste per printing run compared to wide web flexo printing due to the smaller web width and shorter set-up times.

Key Differences Between Narrow Web Flexo Printing And Wide Web Flexo Printing

Here is a table summarising the key differences between narrow web flexo printing and wide web flexo printing:


Narrow Web Flexo Printing

Wide Web Flexo Printing

Web Width

10-16 inches

>16 inches








Labels, tags, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging

Corrugated boxes, flexible packaging, large-format signs

Advantages of Narrow Web Flexo Printing:

  1. It is Cost-Effectiveness: Narrow web printing is a cost-effective solution, particularly for shorter to medium-sized print runs. The reduced material usage, lower ink consumption, and efficient production process contribute to its cost-effectiveness.
  2. It is Efficient: Narrow web flexo printing presses are known for their efficiency, enabling them to produce high-quality products at rapid speeds. This efficiency makes it well-suited for short-run printing jobs.
  3. Its Versatile: Narrow web printing can handle a wide range of products, including labels, tags, shrink sleeves, and flexible packaging. This versatility caters to various industries and product applications.
  4. Produce High-Quality Graphics: Narrow web flexo printing is capable of producing high-quality graphics with fine details and vibrant colours. This capability makes it ideal for products that require visually appealing packaging and labelling.

Applications of Narrow Web Flexo Printing

Following are some basic applications of narrow web flexo printing:-

  • Labels: Narrow web flexo printing is extensively used for producing labels for a wide array of products, including food, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and household goods.
  • Tags: Tags for clothing, toys, electronics, and other products are commonly printed using narrow web printing.
  • Shrink Sleeves: Shrink sleeves, which are labels that shrink tightly around containers, are effectively produced using narrow web flexo printing.
  • Flexible Packaging: Narrow web flexo printing is well-suited for printing flexible packaging for food, beverages, cosmetics, and other products.
  • If you are considering a cost-effective, efficient, and versatile printing method for your product labelling or packaging needs, narrow web printing is an excellent choice. Its ability to handle a variety of materials and produce high-quality graphics makes it a popular choice for a wide range of industries and applications.
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