What Is Drafting Film?


What Is Drafting Film?

Drafting Film: Print Special's British made drafting film is durable, tear-resistant and dimensionally stable – meaning it will not warp or distort when exposed to temperature or moisture fluctuations. The film is produced from high-quality translucent biaxially oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), is extremely archival and will last for up to 500 years [or longer] under correct storage conditions.

The drafting film comes with a double matte coating as standard, which exhibits exceptional anti-static properties and lays the foundation for lasting drafts in various medias including: lead, charcoal, graphite, plastic lead, coloured pencil, pen and ink. When a finished draft is scanned or copied, the blue grid on the drafting film is not illustrated, leaving only the drawing.

In addition to the archaeological connection, the drafting film is widely used for aerospace drawing, architectural rendering, technical drawing, automotive drawing, engineering illustration, stencil fabrication, diagrams, blueprints, write-on overlays, off-set printing plates and traditional draughtsmen, in general.

Moreover, drafting film is becoming increasingly popular for artistic rendering and is used as a substrate in numerous arty applications including painting, charcoal and pastel colours.


  • British manufactured
  • Polyester-based
  • 89u / 3.5mil / 127gsm or
  • 110µ / 4.3mil / 130gsm
  • Anti-static properties
  • Dimensionally stable
  • Double matte coated
  • Excellent lay-flat qualities
  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Heat resistant
  • High translucency for sharp reproduction
  • Multi-erasable without ghosting
  • PPC and laser-printable
  • Rapid ink drying
  • Solvent resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Tear resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Will not discolour with age


Permatrace: Permatrace was a product of Admel International Ltd., and is recognised as being the first synthetic, but non-coated drawing film in the UK. Permatrace was first manufactured in the 1970s and is regarded as the original name in polyester drafting film - and although the product is no longer produced, the name is still widely used to label polyester drawing and drafting films in the UK.

It’s a comparable scenario to when a person referring from the proprietary name of a popular brand e.g. “Hoover” vacuum cleaner, and then saying: “Hoovering” as an alternative to “Vacuuming”. Likewise, a person uses the term “Permatrace” as a replacement for “Drafting Film”. Technically speaking, both examples are inaccurate.

Unlike todays contemporary choices, Permatrace was not typically matte coated and although it was available in a range of different styles and thicknesses, it had fundamentally different properties.


Mylar: Mylar® is a registered trademark owned by Dupont Tejjin and shares many similarities as its former counterpart, Permatrace. Mylar is often used to commonly refer to drafting or drawing film. However, the accurate idiom for this material is Polyester film - or plastic sheet products made from the resin Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET).

Mylar is still available today, but is largely used as an uncoated base film for chemically toothed matte drafting films – including Tachodisc supplied drafting film.

Other names for drafting film are:

Acetate, Dura-Lar, Polydraw, Vellum, Oxatex, Melinex, Hostaphan, Rapidraw, Dura-lene, Herculene, Yup, Denril, Mylar, Permatrace, Skyroll, Cronor and Teonex

To see our drafting film on offer.