Vinylith Rollers?

How does one identify Vinylith Rollers?


Log in to reply   6 replies so far

Hello Matthew,

I looked at restoring a press with vinylith rollers recently - messy job.
Forme and others have some useful thoughts on the differences between rubber / composition rollers in this post:

My personal experience was in line with the ‘sticky when wet’ description given in the post. They had a green tinge, too.
Some spares, which had been left in a bag, had totally disintegrated into a bad smelling mixture leaving the core partially corroded.

The picture shows the kind of greenness and residue left when they’re neglected.

image: vinylith ink disc.jpg

vinylith ink disc.jpg

Thanks Ben,

I’d read that thread, so I read it again. Alas I’m not sure if I have vinylith rollers or not. Though they are a translucent green they are not oozing.

Perhaps I need to buy new rollers.


If your rollers are working well for you and you’re using your press regularly, no problem, you don’t need to replace them. If they’re not working very well and you’re sure it’s a roller problem, you’ll want to replace them regardless of what they’re made of (unless you wanted to keep them as spares for some reason).

The hard decision to make is if they’re working okay but you’re pretty sure they’re vinylith and you don’t use the press very often. You may not want to risk the chance of the rollers turning to goo in between using the press one month and the next. Perhaps at least take them off the press, just in case.

And although translucent green sounds like the description I’ve heard for vinylith rollers, it’s also possible they could have been a translucent amber urethane roller stained from running blue ink.

I have an SP15 with translucent green rollers that sound like the ones you’re describing. I’ve also wondered what they are made of. They were on the press when I bought it about 4 years ago and I assume they were at least a couple of years old then. Great rollers. Soft, flexible and they haven’t glazed over like the black rubber rollers on my other press. A couple of years ago I bought a set of vinylith rollers for a C&P Pilot I was restoring. They seemed different. Not translucent. I’ve always suspected the green ones are urethane and I’m on constant lookout for them to turn sticky. But until then I love them.

Dave, Bob,

Thanks for the input. It really helps. They are translucent enough to see the core. They are a very light green/yellow. They aren’t sticky or oozing. I have not used them yet. And was told the rollers were unused. I was told they were purchased from Craftsmen, unsure if that is true or not.

If they are urethane, how do I care for them, how do I clean them? Any special precautions that you know of?


I had a set for a Kelsey which melted overnight. Lucky they were not on the press at the time but it took forever to clean it up. I tried every solvent known and nothing worked well. Several years later trying again to clean a few drips, I tried acetone and it easily dissolved the green goo. It must change as it ages.

Is vinylith the same as urethane? I thought they were different. NA Graphics discusses them and implies that vinylith is not the same as the old dissolving rollers. Does anyone know for sure?