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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.
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.
Size– Announcement size. A rectangular
envelope whose square seal flap stops at the midpoint of the
backside of the envelope.
A-2 (4-3/8 x 5-3/4), A-6 (4-3/4 x 6-1/2), A-7 (5-1/4 x 7-1/4),
A-8 (5-1/2 x 8-1/8)
A-9 (5-3/4 x 8-3/4), A-10 (6 x 9-1/2).
All of these sizes meet
the USPS aspect ratio requirement for mailing at first class letter
Artwork – historically
a clean sharp paper-based physical image (picture) of what is
to be reproduced. Now nearly
in favor of electronic art.
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.
Avpexine – the most commonly used film for providing the
patch, or window covering material. Commonly called “Poly”,
it is not biodegradable. Other films include Tricyte (clear and
also not biodegradable) and glassine which is somewhat cloudy
but is biodegradable as it is made from wood.
Banding- a relatively inexpensive way to separate envelopes into
small bunches of as few as 8 to a maximum of 50 envelopes. Automatic
banding is done with paper bands, manual banding with rubber
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
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.
Baronial- A squarish envelope made with diagonal seams and a longish
pointed flap that ends below the mid-point of the back of the envelope.
Common Sizes: 4 Bar (3-5/8 x 5-1/8), 5 Bar (4-1/8 x 5-1/2), Astor
(3-5/8 x 5-5/8)
5-1/2 Bar (4-3/8 x 5-3/4), Belmont (4-1/4 x 6-1/4), 6 Bar (4-3/4
x 6-1/2), Jay (5-1/8 x 6-7/8), Lee (5-1/4 x 7-1/4).
All of these
sizes fall within the USPS aspect ratio standards for mailing at
1st class letter mail rates.
Blank- an envelope that has been cut into the shape of an envelope,
but not yet folded.
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.
Bond– A writing grade of paper measured on a 17 x 22” basis.
Common weights are 20 lb. ( per 500 sheets), 24 lb. and 32 lb.
Unlimited selection of grade, sheet sizes, colors, finish, etc.
from your local paper merchant. 24# is usually ideal for converting
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).
Brightness- the capacity of paper to reflect light. The higher
the # the brighter, but not necessarily better as strength and
opacity are compromised to obtain the brightness. Most 24# white
wove envelope paper has a brightness of between 84 and 89.
BRE – Business
Reply envelope. Specifically refers to a USPS approved format
that allows a mailer to receive
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.
Pack- the practice of putting envelopes directly into a carton
without first being put into an inside box (usually of 500). Saves
raw materials and the filling of land fills, but can be detrimental
to long term storage of envelopes unless the fit is perfect.
and String- a method of holding seal flaps down. Uses
include interdepartmental mail. Supplanted by Peerless Tac,
and in some cases Velcro.
Cartons- a master container usually made of brown (unbleached)
fluted corrugated stock.
Seam- refers to the construction (click here to visit How
to Build an Envelope) of an envelope that has a seam down the middle
of its back, and across the bottom. This construction is preferred
for making envelopes that open on the narrow (short) dimension,
called open end envelopes, but can also be used for envelopes opening
on the long dimension (open sides).
Chipboard – refers
to cardboard type material used for making folding boxes. These
boxes have little structural
they are filled with the correct size envelope, in which case they
become stiff as bricks.
a metal seal flap closing device meant for repeated opening and
closing. Somewhat replaced by reusable Latex
Paper –paper that is made with a clay
coated surface on one side (C1S), or both sides (C2S) of the
sheet to enhance
its appearance and printing qualities.
Finish can range from dull (or matt) to a high gloss. For good
folding characteristics the caliper must be a minimum of .004” for
C1S, and 0045” for C2S.
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
Converting – refers
to the practice of making envelopes from sheets of paper supplied
by a printer, paper merchant,
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).
Reply – unlike a BRE, the customer pays the reply
postage by following instructions such as Place Stamp Here.
Grain – grain going 90 degrees to
the direction it should for making or folding envelopes. When
paper is made it is
formed with its grain (the orientation of the cellulose fibers
that give paper its strength) all going in the same direction.
When envelopes are die cut out of the sheet into blanks, it is
critical that the grain go in the correct direction. Cross grain
envelopes have the grain going perpendicularly to the correct direction,
which can create excessive seal flap curl, puckering of the glued
seams, and rollouts on the side scores.
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
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
Seam- the most common form of envelope construction.
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.
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.
hang-up envelopes – envelopes made
expressly to be hung up on a door knob for a variety of reasons:
fundraising, delivery info, etc. We manufacture and inventory these
in white and colors, in addition to weather proof paper for leaving
them hanging outside.
Duotone – a
printing technique for obtaining enhanced results by holding
the halftone dots in very close register.
Ears – malformation
of one or more corners of an envelope caused by the top score
or side score being out
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
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 3”.
Note: when an envelope’s contents are thicker than ¼” and
you wish to avoid paying for an expansion envelope, use a flat
mailer such as a 9 x 12 or 10 x 13 but be sure allow an extra inch
or more around the edges of the insert.
Face – the
front of the envelope, as contrasted to the back.
FIM – facing identification marks. A pattern of vertical
bars printed in the upper right portion of the envelope just to
the left of the indicia, used by the USPS to identify the envelope’s
Finish- surface properties of paper. They include smoothness,
gloss, absorption, texture, hold-out. Common finishes include wove
(#1 for envelopes), laid, linen, vellum.
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.
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.
edge – the edge of the sheet that rubs
against the side of the press to get its left/right positioning.
Gum- another name for the adhesive used for seal flaps and seams.
Years ago this was animal (horse) derived, but now is starch or
Grade- refers to the kind of paper vs. substance weight.
Hitchhiker – a
2-way envelope for imprinting on small presses.
Size: 10” x 9-1/8”flat; 4-1/2 x 9-1/8” in the
mail; 3-3/4 x 9-1/8” return envelope.
4-1/2’ x 9-1/8” order form and 1-1/8” x 9-1/8” customer
Inventoried in white, yellow and pink.
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.
side seams- seam construction of an open side envelope where
the back panel folds on top of the small
side seams that form the envelope.
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.
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.
Kraft – grade
of paper that is stronger than wove, generally at commodity pricing
levels. Available in white
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.
Mail – Mail that qualifies to be mailed at one
ounce first class postage rates. The aspect ratio (the ratio of
the envelope width to the height) must be between 1.3 and 2.5,
and the thickness not more than ¼”, nor less than
.007”. For example, an envelope with the height of an A7
(5-1/4”) when multiplied by 1.3 (the minimum width multiplier)
could be as short as 6-7/8”, or, when multiplied by 2.5 be
as wide (long)as 10-1/2”. If outside these dimensions, 2
ounces of postage is required even though the envelope and its
contents weigh less than an ounce.
The minimum mailable size is 3-1/2” x 5” (regardless
of postage), and the maximum size that can be mailed at the one
ounce rate is 6-1/8 x 11-1/2.
Note that at this large size the envelope plus as few as (3 or 4) 8-1/2 x 11
letterhead size sheets will probably weigh more than an ounce.
Litho – another term for offset printing. The plate with the image comes
in contact with a blanket (originally a flat stone) which then contacts the
converting - refers to the making of envelopes from
printed sheets previously imprinted with the images of anywhere
to 50 envelopes which are then die cut and folded into envelopes.
Large solid areas of ink may require extra drying time to avoid
M – Roman
letter for 1,000, which is the common quantity and pricing count
for envelopes. i.e. price per
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.
End- an envelope that opens on the short dimension. Construction
can be center and bottom seam, single side seam, or even 2 side
Side – an envelope that opens on the long dimension.
Usually diagonal seam or 2 side seam construction (with 1” side
seams), but can also be made with center and bottom seams.
face window – window cut-out, also called
a mortise, that has no covering. Our Boomerang #8 two-way mailer
printers has no patch in order to allow the printing of both the
corner card and the return envelope in the same pass. Click here
to see Boomerang #8.
material – refers to the window covering
material such as Polystyrene, Trycite (clear) or glassine (cloudy,
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.
PH – the
degree of acidity or alkalinity measured on a scale of 0 to 14,
with 1 being highly acidic, 7
being neutral, and 14
being highly alkaline.
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
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).
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.
a visual/ physical way of keeping count by inserting a small
paper tab at every 100th envelope. Adds a little to
per 1,000 envelopes. Banding, in qtys. from 8 to 50 is an
Throat - The distance between the seal flap fold
line and the top of the back panel.
Dupont’s Spunbonded Polyolefin that has become the
standard material for wrapping houses, so there is no question
about it’s durability or strength. It is so light
that it can often save having to pay for an additional
ounce of postage.
However, it is difficult to fold or automatically insert
as it lacks stiffness. Has a distinct TyvekR feel.
a commodity grade paper which has the good folding characteristics
of wove, but a toothier feel.
flap – a rectangular seal flap with either square
or rounded corners.
paper - paper that is able to withstand water or
very high humidity without dissolving or turning into
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.
©2005 Sheppard Envelope