Beginning January 1, 2018, ETC Montessori will no longer be offering lamination as an option for their printed materials.
ETC Montessori announced that effective December 31, 2017 it will cease to provide laminated materials. Lamination has been a staple of the Montessori community for years with many Montessori teachers heavily relying on the process to protect their materials. In 2003, when ETC Montessori began operations, it heralded a new era where Montessori teachers became empowered to purchase their materials instead of making them. The idea brought consistency to the Montessori method and the ability to build on standards, as opposed to the hit and miss approach of creating an overwhelming number of three part nomenclature cards.
ETC Montessori has consistently been at the forefront of new and innovative printing techniques, bringing us such items as charts and timelines that are printed on recycled plastic and vinyl. With the addition of the new 15 mil plastic it appears that they are determined to cease using the method of encapsulating paper between layers of plastic for protection. Lamination is a technique that began in the 1930 and flourished between the 1940 and 1950's.
Following is the letter that was released by the executive administrators of ETC Montessori.
Dear Valued Montessori Customers:
If you have been following the progress of our company, in June we announced the installation of a new digital press dedicated specifically to the printing of plastic materials. At the same time, we made a transition to a new and much thicker 15 mil plastic that is far superior to anything that you might find out there that is laminated.
At ETC Montessori we have made a commitment to provide you with the absolute best. This idea of providing the best customer service and the best materials is a part of our company culture and DNA. It is why we partnered with Nienhuis Montessori, a company that Maria Montessori endorsed, and continue to bring you the absolute best curriculum for your Montessori environment.
When lamination became popular in the 1930's it did so because there were no other options! However, with today's innovative printing techniques, and new chemical processes, we are able to bring you materials that are printed not on paper, but full plastic. Lamination, in and of itself, comes with a great number of drawbacks. Many of you are not strangers to bubbling due to humidity, delamination, curling, yellowing and so on. These are all problems that are no longer found in the new plastic that we are using.
For this reason, today we are announcing that we will be phasing out the use of lamination. On December 31, 2017 we will cease to offer any laminated option through our online store. Beginning January 1, 2018 our customers will have the following two options:
Option 1: Purchase the curriculum and printed materials on card stock so if you wish to continue using lamination you may do so by laminating them on your own.
Option 2: Purchase the curriculum and printed materials on our NEW thick 15 mil plastic. You will receive the items cut and ready to put on your shelf.
Up until now laminated items were offered at the same price with our plastic materials. We intend to keep the same valuation process. You will be able to get your materials on full plastic at the same price that you would laminated items. This is very important to us, as we continue to bring you the best materials possible.
For those customers who have purchased laminated items we will continue to support you with replacement pieces throughout the 2018 year. We will cease all laminated items and replacement pieces On December 31, 2018.
In keeping with our standards, and those of our partners, - all of our distributors, throughout the world already sell our products only on plastic - as well as the fact that over 89% of our customers in the US order their materials on plastic, we believe that this approach is the wisest and most responsible approach as we move into the future.
The benefits of our new 15 mil plastic are many. However, a short list follows:
Will not yellow in the presence of sunlight
Does not curl, but lies flat
Has a high level of brightness so that colors come through
Easy to clean and disinfect
Has a matte finish so there is no glare
Offers flexibility so it will not crack, or break
May be stored in any environment for any length of time
We believe that information is our greatest ally, and a technology that began in the 1930's just might not be the best option anymore. Therefore, we encourage you to take a closer look at our NEW plastic, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gladly send you samples.
With warm regards,
A. Margaritis & Erika Ohlhaver Executive Directors