Paper and Converting

Commercial and monarch envelopes are typically made from writing paper. Announcement, baronial, booklet and catalog envelopes are typically made from text weight paper. Current trends favor heavier, even cover weight, paper. Check with your envelope supplier on feasibility of machine folding when specifying heavier weight papers.

Designers can specify from a full range of brands, textures, colors, coated and uncoated envelopes. Commodity envelopes are made from economical white wove or kraft paper. However, the more an envelope gets away from white wove, the better chance it has of getting noticed. When specifying envelopes be sure to include all of the characteristics that you want and always check with your mail house or the post office before committing to a design.

Paper for envelopes can be made from wood pulp, cotton fiber, or synthetic substrates such as Tyvek. Sustainable choices include papers made with postconsumer waste fiber, papers manufactured with FSC-certified fiber, papers made carbon neutral with Verified Emissions Reduction credits, papers made with emission-free renewable energy, papers made with process chlorine free or elemental chlorine free pulps.

Envelopes can be purchased pre-converted—already cut, folded, and glued into envelopes—or you can print flat sheets of paper and have them converted after printing. Litho converting, or printing then converting, is usually more expensive and will take more time but allows for uninterrupted graphics and/or graphics that wrap smoothly from front to back.

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