Choosing the Correct Ink Ribbon for Your Label Type

Correct Ink Ribbon for Your Label Type
Correct Ink Ribbon for Your Label Type

Choosing to have your labels printed in-house can be a transformative option as it opens up the pathway to more effective printing. It also means that you have more flexibility and can work your labels to yield different outcomes.

That aside, in-house printing also means that you need to have a watchful eye on the printing process to ensure that there are no hiccups along the way. Your focus should be on the printing process and how the different components of your printer match the type of labels you are trying to print.

One component of the printer that needs your attention is the ink ribbon. In short terms, ink ribbons have an effect on the readability of labels and that, in turn, affects the tracking and inventory of products.

What Is An Ink Ribbon?

In actual sense, ink ribbons are called thermal transfer ink ribbons. They get their name from the fact that they’re employed in thermal transfer printers as tools for allowing monochrome printing. Therefore, ink ribbons will be crucial to the label printing process as they allow you to print variables on the labels.

At the same time, the ribbons contain the ink that’ll be deposited on the labels so except if you’re using direct transfer printers that don’t need ink, you’ll need to choose ink ribbons wisely to avoid misprinting of labels.

What are the Different Types of Ink Ribbons to Look Out For?

Now that you know what ink ribbons are, you need to know what forms they come in. Only good knowledge of the different types of ink ribbons will allow you to choose the one that’s compatible with your labels.

1. Resin Ribbons

Resin ribbons are your go-to pick when dealing with synthetic and plastic supports like polyester. It’s important to choose an ink ribbon made from resin if your labels will be seeing more wet outdoor environments to prevent wearing off of the labels.

At the same time, labels printed with ink ribbons ensure that mechanical factors like constant rubbing and chemicals like gasoline, detergents, and alcohol also don’t lead to wear and tear. So you can say that resin ribbons are better suited to labels that have a long shelf life.

2. Superior Resin Ribbons

What’s better than resin ribbons? Superior resins that allow longer and better adhesion to synthetic labels.

3. Wax Ribbons

Under conventional conditions, it’s advised you go for wax ribbons as they are suitable for vellum or coated paper labels. The results from this printing method can last for a reasonable period. Wax ribbons are the go-to for retail products.

4. Wax/Resin Ribbons

If you’re dealing with satin or glassy paper, it’s best to use wax/resin ribbons. They’re employed in hospitals and laboratories where strong adhesion and resistance to temperature and humidity are paramount.

Quick Tips for Picking the Right Ribbon

  • Printing width should be wider than the labels
  • The length of the ribbon also matters
  • The ink ribbon core should also be evaluated
  • Type of ink ribbon winding


Choosing the best ink ribbon goes a long way in ensuring your labels come out in pristine shape. The more careful you are with your selection, the lower your chances of a misprinting situation.

Leave a Comment