|Glossary of Envelope Terms 2
1. Absorption: A property of
paper; absorption is the ability of paper to take up liquids or vapors. This
plays a key role in the quality of the bonding process of the adhesives used
to manufacture an envelope, and in the storage process as the stored envelopes
are subjected to humidity.
2. Adhesives: There are two main
groups of adhesives used to manufacture an envelope. The first group consists
of fastening agents used to bind the seams of the envelope together permanently.
The second group includes the various sealing agents used to bind the seal to
the backside of the envelope.
3. Air Mail Envelope: A lightweight
envelope with red and blue border and “Air Mail” printed on the
face, specifically designed for keeping the cost of postage down by reducing
the weight of the mailing.
4. A-Style Envelope: Announcement
style, open side envelope with double side seam construction and a square flap.
Available in six standard sizes and most often converted from text paper.
5. Back Gum: Also called seam
gum. It is the adhesive used to seal the seams on the back of the envelope to
form the envelope pocket.
6. Bankers Flap Envelope: Also
known as a wallet flap, this envelope is readily available in the larger commercial
envelope sizes and is used for heavy mailing applications, such as bank statements
that must get through the mail system intact and secure.
7. Baronial: Often used for announcements
and greeting cards, this envelope has a large pointed flap and diagonal seams,
and is available in five popular sizes. Companion panel and plain cards and
folders are readily available in the standard sizes.
8. Basis Weight: The weight of
500 sheets of a standard size paper of a given grade. For example, 500 sheets
of a 25 x 38 Basis 80 text paper weigh 80 pounds. In another example, 500 sheets
of 17 x 22 Substance 24 bond or writing paper weigh 24 pounds.
9. Blank: The die cut paper in
the form of an envelope prior to folding.
10. Bleed: When the printed image
extends beyond the fold of an envelope or off the edge of an envelope blank.
11. Blocking: The premature activation
of the front seal gum in areas other than those directly above the back seam
12. Booklet: An open side, double
side seam envelope, usually having a wallet style flap. This envelope comes
in many standard sizes. The most popular size is 9 x 12.
13. Bottom Flap: The section of
the envelope folded up from the bottom score to form that portion of the back
of an envelope.
14. Bang Tail: A booklet style
envelope with an extension on the bottom flap that if “perfed” at
the throat. This extension, or tail, is usually printed as an order form. Band
Tail envelopes are commonly used by mail order companies and as credit card
statement remittance envelopes.
15. Catalog Envelope: An open
end center seam envelope with the seal flap on the short dimension. Catalog
envelopes with a single side seam are not commonly used, but are available upon
16. Center Seam: Most common on
open end envelopes this is the permanent seam that joins the tow side flaps
together at the center of the envelope, running form the bottom of the envelope
to the throat of the envelope.
17. Clasp Envelope: Almost always
made form an open end envelope, a clasp is secured to the back side of the envelope
with a small reinforced hole punched in the flap for the clasp to slip through
and be secured, The flap is usually gummed. The clasp can be used for added
security if the seal is activated, or can be used repeatedly if the gum stays
18. Closures: Various methods
of securing the seal flap to the back of the envelope.
a. String-And-Button: A string is affixed to the outside of the seal flap that
the user winds around a disc that is affixed to the back of the envelope directly
below the flap. Most commonly used on an inter-office envelope.
b. Latex: A self-sealing adhesive that requires no moisture. Latex gum is applied
to the seal flap and to the back flap where the seal flap touches when closed.
When the two latex gummed surfaces are pressed together, a bond is formed, holding
the seal flap to the body of the envelope.
c. Remoistenable Seal Gum: Commonly referred to as regular gum. Required moistening
to achieve a seal. There are two main types of seal gum. They are dextrine,
a natural vegetable bi-product, and resin, a synthetic substance. Most remoistenable
gum used today is a mixture of the two types.
d. Metal Clasp: A winged metal device that is affixed to the back of the envelope
just below the throat and behind the seal flap. It is bent open by the user,
inserted though a reinforced hole the seal flap, and bent back down to temporarily
close the envelope.
e. Peel & Stick Flap Closure: This closure consists of a “super sticky”
gum line applied to the seal flap this is covered by a strip of release paper. The
extremely aggressive nature of this adhesive creates a very secure closure.
f. Tac-N-Tac: A re-sealable closure consisting of a clear vinyl tape affixed
over a hole punched into the seal flap. Another piece of release tape is affixed
to the back of the envelope below the throat and behind the flap. When the seal
flap is closed, the tape exposed through the hole and the seal flap adheres
itself to the release tape on the back of the envelope. This closure can be
sealed and re-sealed many times. It is used as an alternative to the button
and string closure on inter-office type envelopes.
19. Cello: Super clear cellophane
window patch material. More costly than poly.
20. Coin Envelope: A small open
end envelope ranging in size from #00 - 11/16 x 2 ¾ to a #7 – 3
½ x 6 ½.
21. Commercial Style: Open side,
diagonal or double side seam envelope with a commercial style flap. The most
popular envelope for business, it is sometimes referred to as an “official”
envelope. It is readily available in many paper varieties and comes in 11 common
sizes, with or without a window.
22. Commodity Envelope: Envelopes
usually mass-produced in standard sizes from open line papers, such as white
wove and Brown Kraft. They are available for all customers of record to purchase.
23. Converting Only: Paper is
supplied by the customer for conversion into envelopes.
24. Coupon Hitch-Hiker: A remittance
envelope with a perforated coupon extending from the flap, and a perforated
tail extending from the back flap.
25. Diagonal Seam: A seam running
diagonally from the bottom fold and comes upward toward the throat of the envelope.
26. Die: In envelope making, this
term usually refers to a high die for cutting envelope blanks or a window die
for cutting a window opening.
27. Die-Cut: A process of cutting
envelope blanks utilizing a high die.
28. Document Envelope: Sometimes
referred to as legal envelopes, these are large, open side, double side seam
outside, hex flap envelopes produced from heavy manila or brown kraft stock
with heavy seal gum, used for mailing and storage of documents requiring security
29. Expansion Envelope: Much like
a grocery bag. The gussets in an expansion envelope allow it to be expanded
to accommodate such things as book, binders, manuscripts, and countless other
bulky items. They are made in both open end and open side styles, most commonly
of 40 lb. Kraft paper.
30. Expansion Score: An additional
score on a seal flap, running its length in order to accommodate bulk contents.
31. File-Velope: A large, open
side envelope, without a flap, which has inside side seams and a short tab at
its opening. Generally used as a file pocket.
32. First Class Mailer: Any type
or size of envelope with a pre-printed diamond shaped border around its perimeter.
A break in the border is left in the upper right hand corner on the face of
the envelope to accommodate postage and eliminate interference of postal scanners.
The words “FIRST CLASS” are normally pre-printed on the face and
seal flap, but are not required. The most common color used in printing is green,
but most any color can be used.
33. Flaps Extended: A term used
to describe a request to have envelopes produced and packed with their flaps
open and extended.
34. Flush Cut: The seal flap is
removed, leaving a straight opening at the top of the envelope.
35. Foil Lined: The inside of
the flap and throat are lined with a decorative foil. Used most often in greeting
36. Fold: Any folded edge of the
envelope. Generally referred to as the side, top or bottom fold.
37. Gum: Any type of adhesive
or glue used in the manufacturing of envelopes.
38. Gum Sling: A term used to
describe a manufacturing problem caused by back gum applications splattering
gum onto other surfaces of the envelope resulting in consecutive envelopes tacking
and sticking together.
39. Gum Seepage: A term used to
describe a manufacturing problem caused by an excessive application of back
gum resulting in consecutive envelopes sticking together at the seam or the
inside pocket of the envelope being stuck closed at the seam(s).
40. Hitch-Hiker Envelope: A dual-purpose
envelope for use in both outbound and return response mailing.
41. Indicia: Mailing permits that
are printed on an envelope where a stamp would normally be placed.
42. Inter-Office Envelope: Usually
an open end or catalog style envelope which is preprinted on both sides with
lined depicting the person(s) and department that the envelope is to be delivered
to. On a standard 10 x 13 size there are enough spaces to accommodate 56 deliveries.
Eight 3/8” holes are drilled completely through the envelope for visible
conformation of any contents. Button and string or Tac-N-Tac closures are used
on this type of envelope.
43. Job Jacket Envelope: A large
envelope in which all aspects of a print job are kept for reference.
44. Jumbo Envelope: A very large
envelope of either open end or open side construction. Ranging in size from
9 x 16 to 24 x 36 which can be machine folded to even larger sizes, which must
be hand folded. Most super size envelopes are constructed of 28 lb. to 40lb.
45. Open End: An envelope term
describing an envelope with the seal flap on the shorter of the two dimensions.
46. Open Panel: A term used when
any envelope with a window does not have any type of clear window patch material
affixed over the window opening from inside the envelope.
47. Open Side: An envelope term
describing an envelope with the seal flap on the longer of the two dimensions.
48. Policy Envelope: An open end
style envelope with the same dimensions as a #10 through a #14 commercial envelope.
49. Poly: Polyclear window patch
material, the most common window patch material.
50. Proxy Envelope: A booklet
style envelope with either an inside pocket affixed on three sides behind a
window, or one with separate commercial type envelope affixed to the outside.
The proxy envelope is used to mail annual reports along with proxy voting cards
to corporate stockholders.
51. Regular: A term used to describe
any commercial envelope that does not have a window.
52. Remittance Envelopes: A booklet
or side seam style envelope with a long wallet type seal flap covering most
of the back of the envelope. Used as a collection envelope. Most common sizes
being of the commercial and official sizes #6 ¼, #6 ¾, and #9.
Boxed with flaps extended.
53. Safety Fold Envelope: An open
side, center seam envelope with a large wallet flap and a high throat designed
to fold over with the flap to increase the security of the contents.
54. Seal Gum: Any adhesive applied
to the seal flap of the envelope in order to achieve a seal. See closures.
55. Seal Flap: The flap that folds
down over the envelopes opening in order to seal it.
56. Shoulder: The top edge of
the side flaps at the envelope opening.
57. Side Flaps: Fold in from the
sides to form the sides of the envelope.
58. Side Seam: A seam that runs
perpendicular to the envelope opening.
59. Side Seam Inside: The term
applied to the side seam when it folds UNDER the bottom flap.
60. Side Seam Outside: The term
applied to the side seam when it folds OVER the bottom flap.
61. Special: A very general term
used to describe any envelope that is not of a standard size, window position,
or paper grade.
62. Straight Grain Cutting: Cutting
the blanks for an envelope so the grain of the paper runs parallel to the folds.
63. Tabbed: A counting method
for packed envelopes, which places a paper tab at specified quantities within
the box or carton to assist the printer or inserter to select the correct amount
of envelopes needed for the operation being performed.
64. Tacking: The premature activation
of the seal gum at the points where it is over the back seams of an envelope.
65. Throat: The opening at the
top of the envelope. The size of the throat is measured form the top edge of
the bottom flap to the fold line of the seal flap.
66. Thumb Cut: A rounded opening
cut through the back, front, or both sides of an envelope opening to facilitate
the removal of its contents.
67. Tyvek: A synthetic paper made
of spunbonded olefin by the DuPont Corp. It
is an ultra-lightweight, tear-proof, and waterproof “paper” which
when converted into envelopes can accommodate heavy, bulky, and highly confidential
mailings. Although Tyvek has countless uses, 14 lb. and 20 lb. stock is used
for envelope converting.
68. Wallet Flap: A type of seal
flap that is deep and square in shape.
69. Web Cut: Any envelope manufactured
by means of feeding a continuous roll of paper into and envelope machine, which
cuts the envelope blanks individually with inline rotary knives. The most common
web-cut envelope style is of side seam construction.
70. Window: An opening in the
envelope with or without a translucent patch designed to allow the contents
inside the envelope to show through.