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What Is Glassine Paper And Why Is It Used In Packaging?

what is glassine paper
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Quick Summary: Glassine is a smooth, transparent, and glossy material made from pulp. It is used to interleave and insert specific-sized sheets between delicate artwork, documents, books, or photos to protect them from damage.

As soon as the demand for eco-friendly packaging increased, the packaging industry introduced another packaging material: glassine.

In this article, we will discuss what is glassine paper, how it is made, why packaging companies like Elixir have started using it, and many other things. So, if you are environmentally conscious, this article is specially crafted for you. 

What Is Glassine Paper?

What Is Glassine

Glassine is a pulp-based material with a unique touch and feel. Most people confuse glassine with glass, but it differs significantly from glass. Glassine is a see-through material, which makes it perfect for use in the packaging industry. Because it is a new material, people confuse it with glass, plastic, wax paper, butter paper, parchments, and other similar materials. 

What makes glassine paper unique for packaging is its features such as:

  • Glassine has a neutral PH level 
  • Glassine is acid-free 
  • Glassine is air, moisture, and grease-resistant.

How Is Glassine Paper Made?

How Is Glassine Paper Made

It would help to have hardwood trees like aspen, oak, and birch to make glassine paper. The timber is first washed, and then we cut it. After that, it is transported to the paper mill. In the paper mill, it is again washed and goes for pulping. After that, trees are converted into pulp, and all the fibers are separated from the lignin and other substances in the wood. 

The discoloring of the glassine paper has been done with the help of lignin. The glassine paper is sent for bleaching once the discoloring process has been done. Once the bleaching is completed, other substances, like dyes and pigments, are added to it before drying. In glassine, we also add some other additives like titanium oxide, calcium carbonate, and clay. 

What Is A Super Calendaring Process For Glassine Paper?

What Is A Super Calendaring Process For Glassine Paper?

It is the final step of glassine paper. The purpose of this process is to smooth the paper by pressing it between rollers. This step is known as calendaring. Glassine gets its smooth texture, transparency, feel, glossy appearance, and other properties from the process, which is known as super calendaring. 

How Glassine Paper Gets Its Unique Appearance?

How Glassine Paper Gets Its Unique Appearance

As previously mentioned, glassine gets its unique appearance during the pulping process. Additives like clay, titanium dioxide, or calcium carbonate reduce the amount of light transmitted through the paper and make it more transparent. The degree and quality of the machine have a direct impact on the final glassine paper roll. 

Glassine Paper Packaging

Glassine Paper Packaging

Different printing techniques can be used on glassine paper, such as:

  • Gravure Printing 
  • Offset Printing 
  • Digital Printing 
  • Flexographic Printing 

One of the biggest challenges of using glassine paper food packaging is that it needs to be more porous, which makes it hard for us to print on it. Printing on glassine requires years of experience with printing processes and several inks, especially to achieve fine-line images in vivid, full color.

You can emboss and deboss glassine to make it pop more in front of customers’ eyes. Finishing glassine requires expertise in machine modifications and strategically adjusting guides and tensions.

Glassine Paper Alternatives For Packaging 

Glassine Paper Alternatives For Packaging 

Well, there are different alternatives of glassine paper for art, such as:

  • Vallum
  • Parchment Paper
  • Wax Paper
  • Cellophane

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Glassine Paper?

Pros & Cons Of Glassine Paper

Glassine paper has various advantages, such as high thickness and density. It is acid-free and has a neutral pH level, making it ideal for food, cosmetics, and other packaging.

One of the most significant advantages of using glassine paper is that it does not require any coating or lamination, which makes it cost-effective. It is made of eco-friendly material and is 100% recyclable, making it perfect for people searching for sustainable packaging. 

But like everything, it also comes with a few drawbacks, such as being unsuitable for printing. There is a higher chance that your ink will smear, which can destroy your designs. 

Final Verdict 

Glassine paper can be used as an alternative to paper bags and envelopes. These bags can be used in different industries, such as food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and more. 

If you want to buy glassine paper or customize packaging for your products, Elixir Packaging, with a decade of experience, is here to help. Contact our customer service department to learn how we can collaborate and help you. 

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