Acidity – refers to the PH (the acidity or alkalinity) of the paper. All of our paper is acid free. This does not make it truly archival, but it is definitely anti-tarnish and anti-yellowing.
Archival paper- neutral PH paper created especially for longterm, indefinite, storage (hundreds of years).
Cutting Blades – blades which can be varied in size
to produce envelopes of different sizes, including seal flaps of
different lengths and shapes. Used when we do not have the correct
size high die, or when the use of “blades” can increase
the number of envelope blanks that can be cut from a given size sheet
of paper, or when the quantity is too small to justify the expense
of an $1100 or higher, high die.
Ratio- A USPS term referring to the relationship of the
width (length) of an envelope divided by its height. For further
specifications please see Letter-Size mail.
Bangtails- A one-way response/remittance envelope that has a tearoff coupon for returning information of all kinds (addresses, orders, etc.). Commonly mailed to the recipient in a #10, or included as a stuffer in a catalog. Alternatives include Kost Kuts and Hitchikers. We inventory #9 size (3-7/8 x 8-7/8) in 3 configurations: plain, with an easy opening backside for ATM use, and imprinted with Bank-by-Mail copy.
Bar Code – a series of long and short (about ¼” and 1/8”) vertical bars that represent the ZIP code of the addressee. Obtained from the Post Office, or included with bar code software.
Bleed- a printing term that means the ink runs off the edge of the sheet, or folds over to the other side of the envelope. Envelopes with bleed copy generally must be printed in a flat sheet before the blanks are cut. To achieve a bleed effect at a score line (for example at the seal flap fold) the copy should wrap 5/32” to the other side of the envelope to avoid white showing where it is not wanted.
Booklet- any open side (opens on the long dimension) envelope constructed with 2 side seams and a square seal flap (usually 2” on envelopes 6 x 9” or larger, and proportionately smaller on envelopes less than 6” in height). The advantage of booklets is that they can be automatically inserted (unlike an open end such as a 9 x 12 catalog).
BRE – Business Reply envelope. Specifically refers to a USPS approved format that allows a mailer to receive First-Class Mail back from customers without the customer having to pay postage. The mailer pays the postage and fees upon the return of the envelopes to the Post Office.
Button and String- a method of holding seal flaps down. Uses include interdepartmental mail. Supplanted by Peerless Tac, and in some cases Velcro.
Clasp- a metal seal flap closing device meant for repeated opening and closing. Somewhat replaced by reusable Latex seal &/or Peerless Tac.
Coins – small open end envelopes, usually made with center and bottom seams.
Commercial- the most common style of envelope used in the USA. Open side (opens on the long dimension) and made with diagonal seams.
Corner Card – the return address (logo, typeset, or both) of the sender which is located in the upper left corner of the envelope. Usually 3/8” from the left, and 3/8” from the top (of a #10).
Cylinder Die Cutting – refers to using a beefy horizontal printing press with a steel rule die mounted thereon for cutting out envelope shapes one sheet at a time. Time consuming, but for intricate shapes and small quantities it can be the most cost effective solution.
Deckle Edge – refers to an envelope made from paper which was formed with deckle, or serrated, edge. The envelope die is overhung off the sheet as the blanks are cut in order to preserve the deckle.
Die – a precision made cutting tool, forged into the desired shape for cutting envelopes. Commonly 4” high and ½” thick at the top. Costs about $1100.
Die Cutting- the process of manually cutting a lift of paper (usually 200-300 sheets) into envelope blanks with a minimum of spoilage. Other cutting methods include automated programmed cutting, adjustable blades, cylinder die cutting, or, for runs in the millions of envelopes in-line cutting or off-line AMC high speed die cutting.
Doorknob hang-up envelopes – envelopes made expressly to be hung up on a door knob for a variety of reasons: bill payment, fundraising, delivery info, etc. We manufacture and inventory these in white and colors, in addition to weather proof paper for leaving them hanging outside.
Ears – malformation of one or more corners of an envelope caused by the top score or side score being out of position.
Electronic art- paperless art used for graphic arts reproduction.
Embossing – a process for raising paper to form a pattern, usually done with pressure and heat at slow revolutions per minute. However, simple patterns can be embossed at high speeds on some folding machines as the envelope is being formed.
envelope – envelopes made with a gusset on all 4 sides
to accomodate thickness. The degree of expansion can range from ½” to
Flexography -letterpress printing (the actual plate that does the printing comes in contact with the paper being printed). The inks can be either water or alcohol based. For environmental reason we use water based inks. Screens should be no more 85 line, vs. 110-130 for offset.
Glassine- older style window film that is 100% green. Biodegrades quickly, but also is hydroscopic and takes on moisture if stored in a humid area. Poor readability at the USPS due to a usually cloudy appearance. Relatively short shelf life, which high relative humidity can make even shorter (a few months).
Grain – orientation of the fibers in the sheet of paper being cut into envelopes. In booklet and center and bottom seam style envelopes it is critical that the grain go straight from the top to the bottom of the envelope. Interestingly, grain direction is not important with diagonal seam envelopes.
Gripper– the leading edge, or gripped edge, of paper as it is pulled through the cylinders of a printing press. In general sheet fed offset presses use mechanical grippers to advance paper through the machine. Envelope machines use a combination of pusher pins and vacuum cylinders to move an envelope blank.
Gum- another name for the adhesive used for seal flaps and seams. Years ago this was animal (horse) derived, but now is starch or resin based.
Grade- refers to the kind of paper vs. substance weight.
Hitchhiker – a
2-way envelope for imprinting on small presses.
Holes- opposite problem from ears, but also created by the top and bottom scores or side seam scores being misadjusted.
Indicia – postage permit printed in the upper right of an envelope, and negates having to apply postage separately.
Inside tint – the printing of an opaque design on the inside of an envelope to increase its opacity, and stop peeping eyes from reading what’s inside the envelope. By step-and-repeating a logo as the design, the security tint can also become an attractive addition to a company’s print media.
Kost Kut – another name for a remittance envelope whose seal flap is nearly as long as the height of the envelope. We inventory size 6-3/4 and #9.
Latex- adhesive used to stick seal flaps down by pressing the latexed seal flap against the latex on the body of the envelope. Latex sticks to latex, but nothing else. Shelf life is not more than year. Adhesion is quickly and adversely affected by dust.
Litho converting - refers to the making of envelopes from printed sheets previously imprinted with the images of anywhere from 1 to 50 envelopes which are then die cut and folded into envelopes. Large solid areas of ink may require extra drying time to avoid smudging.
Opacity- property of paper that governs the degree to which light can pass through . The more opaque, the more difficult it is to see what is inside the envelope. The printing of an inside tint can increase opacity.
Open End- an envelope that opens on the short dimension. Construction can be center and bottom seam, single side seam, or even 2 side seams.
Patch material – refers to the window covering material such as Polystyrene, Trycite (clear) or glassine (cloudy, hydroscopic and biodegradable).
Peel and Seal- adhesive which is exposed by peeling away a release strip, and which will then stick to just about anything. FedX pack, as an example.
Postage Meter Style – a window envelope oriented so that its window is located 7/8” left, ½” bottom but with the seal flap at the bottom of the envelope, rather than the top. Can be advantageous in some automatic Inserting machine applications.
Seams – the overlapping pieces of an envelope that hold it together. The alternative to seams is welded seams, wherein one sheet of paper is glued directly (welded) to the next. In this case the inside dimension of the envelope is foreshortened by 3/4” (3/8” on both ends).
Split seal gumming – refers to the practice of eliminating seal gum from that area of the seal flap that comes in contact with the diagonal seam that runs underneath it. At that point, because of the additional ply of paper created by the seam plus the seal flap, there is an increased tendency for the seal flaps to stick during storage. This is called tabbing, and can readily happen in areas of high humidity, or when the storage period is excessively long (a year or more).
Stamp ready – the seal gum is stopped short of the area where a postage stamp is placed in order to keep the seal flap from inadvertently tacking when the stamp is applied.
Tabbing- a visual/ physical way of keeping count by inserting a small paper tab at every 100th envelope. Adds a little to the cost per 1,000 envelopes. Banding, in qtys. from 8 to 50 is an option.
Throat - The distance between the seal flap fold line and the top of the back panel.
Vellum- a commodity grade paper which has the good folding characteristics of wove, but a toothier feel.
Wallet flap – a rectangular seal flap with rounded corners.
Weatherproof paper - paper that is able to withstand water or very high humidity without dissolving or turning into mush. Examples are TyvekR and our Custom Laminate.
Wove – the most common grade of white paper used in envelope manufacturing. Smooth finish.
Watermark – a mark put in paper by a dandyroll when the paper is still wet on the wire or fourdrinier. Watermarks can be a design that belongs to the paper manufacturer or it can serve as the private logo of the company for whom the paper was made. “Strathmore 24 Rag Content” is a watermark familiar to many.
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