Shrink Sleeve Glossary

Acronyms Your Should Understand: MD = Machine Direction TD = Transverse Direction LF = Lay Flat CL = Cut Length MM = Millimeters

Application by Hand: Shrink labels comes delivered as individual cut pieces. Open up and slide over your container. The best method to shrink is with steam. If you do not have a contract packager and you have the time, then a $50.00 handheld steamer will do the job. Available at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Application by Machine: If you are applying your shrink labels by machine, the core size is typically 3, 4. 5, 6 or 10 inch and the maximum outside roll diameter are critical.

Cut Length CL : The final pre-cut shrink band measuring from the top to bottom from open end.

Dimensions of Container: Proper sizing of exact measurement’s down to 1/2 mm is critical. We will need two (2) containers sent to us to ensure proper fit. Your shrink Sleeves will for perfect. Contact Us with questions.

Dimension of Finished Shrink Sleeve: Sleeves are measured in Millimeters MM. Measure the Lay Flat LF  width across the seem  x the Cut Length CL as it lays there flat. There is also a Cut Length CL measurement which is the length from end to end that is  the height of the individual shrink label.

Gang Run: If you have multiple versions of shrink sleeves that are the same size, you have the opportunity to print as many copy version changes as a combination run. This allows you to purchase your sleeves at a larger overall price break quantity. For example, you need three sleeves, Version 1 you need 5,000, Version 2 you need 3,000, Version 3 you need 2,000. We will be able to quote you on a total run of 10,000 and help you save money. Remember: When you re-order only one, prices will vary based on quantity ordered.

Lay Flat LF: It is the measurement of the shrink sleeve from left to right. The lay flat dimension is equal to ½ of the circumference of the over band.

Lead Times: Digital Shrink Sleeves takes approximately 10-15 working days and Flexographic Shrink Sleeves takes approximately 4 weeks after final approval of artwork.

Machine Direction MD: The direction from open end to open end on a shrink band.

Material Polypropylene Terephthalate Glycol: PETG has up to 78% shrinkage that starts to shrink between 158° F and 176° F. Has the highest level of clarity. PETG is the most expensive and most heat resistant shrink sleeve material, they are the most scuff resistant, have a higher gloss, and also have a higher shrink percentage. Most commonly used for energy drinks and environmentally friendly. Compatible with PET recycling systems. PETG is a high density film with a high strength ratio and excellent clarity. Additionally, PETG is pasteurisable and can be recycled, an often-sought feature in today’s market.

Material Oriented Polystyrene: OPS has up to 75% shrink with a softer feel and a 30% yield savings vs. PVC / PETG. OPS shrink sleeves are commonly used on containers that will be squeezed during the application. OPS has a minimal MD shrinkage. OPS offers the lowest vertical shrink of the shrink materials in addition to a more consistent finish. OPS is also more cost effective than PETG.

Material Polyvinyl Chloride: PVC has up to 64% shrinkage that starts to shrink between 122° F and 140° F. PVC is a high density film that shrinks at low temperature ranges. The most commonly used shrink sleeve material for the market. Generally the least expensive film. Used in approximately 70% as the most common film in the marketplace. Performance characteristics well understood with a long history. Ideal for tamper evident bands or basic shrink items where high shrink is not required. It has excellent shrinkage rates, clarity, print quality, and a wide range of both shrink temperatures and shrink ratios. PVC also has high impact strength for extra weather resistance. This scuff resistant shrink sleeve material has the lowest cost, but is also less environmentally friendly than other shrink sleeve materials currently in use.

Material Polylactide or Polylactic Acid: PLA has up to 72% shrink and is a renewable plant resource from corn. PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable resources. FDA approved for direct food contact. Low shrink initiation temperature.  The fact that PLA is biodegradable has increased its popularity in recent years and in addition to its use as printed shrink sleeve labels, PLA has also been used as a loose-fill flexible packaging material. It’s important to note that PLA is more expensive, it can be difficult to handle, since it very brittle, and it is NOT recyclable in recycling systems used today.

Perforation Horizontal: A horizontal perforation that runs across the width Lay Flat LF of the shrink sleeve. You sometimes see these used at the base of a bottle cap when the cap is twisted. The perforation twists and breaks the tamper evident seal.

Perforation-T: A combination of a horizontal perforation and a vertical perforation, allowing for a part of the shrink sleeve to be used as a tamper evident seal, but be removed by the consumer after purchase. The consumer, at the perforation, tears down the shrink sleeve and around the package, removing the tamper evident section, allowing access to the product.

Perforation Vertical: A vertical perforation runs the length or part of the length / height of the shrink label. A vertical perforation is used on most all tamper evident seals.

Printing Short Run Digital: If your shrink sleeves are being digitally printed, they will always run as 4 Color Process / CMYK (Full Color) + 2 hits of White.

Printing Medium to Long Run Flexographic: If your shrink labels are being flexographically or Rotogravure printed, they could be run as 4 Color Process / CMYK (Full Color) + 2 hits of White, or as spot colors, or as a combination of both. This will be dependent on how your artwork is designed. For Flexographic and Rotogravure, the more colors involved, the higher the costs and the more you have in printing plates (Flexo).

Proofs Electronic: PDF proofs are available at no charge. PDF proofs are for layout proofing purposes only and are not accurate representations of color. PDF proofs are typically ready within 24-48 hours, depending on the number of items and if artwork revisions or creation from scratch is required. Please ask us if you have any questions regarding this.

Proofs Match: Match proofs are available for a charge, after the PDF proof has been approved. Match proofs are deemed to be the most accurate color representation available, without actually printing on press. Suggested when Process/Full Color images are present on the label. Passion Labelstm matches spot colors to the printing industry’s Pantone Matching System standards. Match proofs are shipped to you within 24-48 hours of your approval of the PDF proof. If approved, you sign the Match proof and ship it to the plant, as it is used at the time of the press run for color matching. Please ask us if you have any questions regarding this.

Proofs Press: Press proofs are for color match situations that are ultra-critical, as they are actual sample runs on the press. They require the purchase of printing plates. They are not seemed together like your final shrink labels will be. Press proofs are shipped to you within 24-48 hours of your approval of the PDF proof. You also have the option to visit the production plant for an in-person press check. Please ask us if you have any questions.

Size Conversion Formula: 1 inch = 25.4 mm. The dimensions of shrink labels are stated in millimeters. A cut band that is 3 inches in circumference and 1 inch tall and made from 2 mil material would be referred to as: 38 mm LF x 0.05 mm x 25 mm CL, where 38 mm is ½ the circumference of the band / left to right, 0.05 is the decimal equivalent of 2 mil (U.S.) and 25 mm is the cut length / top to bottom.

Shrink Factor: The maximum percentage that a shrink label or band with shrink. The material will shrink approximately 5-10% in the machine direction and 40-45% in the transverse direction.

Transverse Direction TD: The direction of a shrink band or shrink sleeve that is from edge to edge or left to right.

Shipping: After artwork approval, Blue Line Labels will  place your order in the scheduled to be printed. Digital shrink sleeves takes approximately 10-15 working days and flexographic shrink sleeves takes approximately 4 weeks after final approval of artwork to be shipped.

Shrink Factor: The maximum percentage that a shrink sleeve or band after the shrink. The material will shrink approximately 5-10% in the machine direction and 40-45% in the Transverse Direction TD.