Paper Face Stocks

There are many types of paper and film face stocks, all of which are designed to meet the needs of specific print methods and applications. Listed below are ones that are commonly used in label production. If you are uncertain as to what paper or film is best for your client’s specific needs, just contact us at and we will be happy to assist you. We can provide you with samples for testing and will do additional research for unique or hard to find materials. You can count on us to be a resource to you so you can find the best solutions to your client’s needs.

Common Paper Face Stocks:

  • Thermal Transfer:
    • Thermal transfer papers are designed to be receptive to thermal transfer ribbon imaging.
    • TT papers typically come in a matte, semi-gloss or hi gloss finish. The only difference is the look of the material itself.
  • Direct Thermal:
    • Non Top-coated – A paper that is receptive to direct heat from a thermal printhead to create variable imaging.
    • Top Coated – The same as above except the sheet has a coating that makes the surface less susceptible to darkening. Used for applications requiring more durability or longer life.
    • Visible Light – The most common form of direct thermal barcode scanning which uses a visible light to read the black and white contrasts of a barcode in order to decipher the code.
    • Near Infrared Scanable (NIR) – The paper has a coating designed to enhance a barcode image allowing the scan to be read with a higher rate of reliability.
    • Infrared Scanable (IR) - Similar to near Infrared, but with the ability to read a barcode through a foreign substance.
  • Semi Gloss: A somewhat shiny paper label often used for printing product labels.
  • Semi Gloss: A somewhat shiny paper label often used for printing product labels.
  • High Gloss: A paper label with a high shine used for product labels requiring a higher end look.
  • EDP: Also commonly called smudge proof. This is a paper label used in impact printed applications where an ink ribbon applies an image after being struck by a pin or character font.
  • Laser: A paper label, usually with a heavier liner, that is designed to run through sheet fed laser printers without curling or jamming.
  • Inkjet: A paper that has a coating which makes it receptive to very small, high velocity ink drops. The coating enables the paper to absorb and dry the ink quickly without smearing.
  • Silver or Gold Foil Coated: These papers have a thin layer of metal foil laminated to them. They are often used for labels that are highlighting something specific on a product.
  • Tags: This is a non-adhesive, heavy paper that is designed to run through a thermal transfer or direct thermal printer.

Common Film Face Stocks:

Click here to see a film comparison diagram for the following, commonly used film face stocks.

  • Polyester (Mylar®): A rigid, durable, UV resistant film that doesn’t tear easily unless nicked or cut.
  • Polyethylene: A conformable film material used for labeling bottles.
  • Layered Polyethylene (Valeron®): A unique type of layered polyethylene used in durable tag applications where high tear resistance is required.
  • Polyimide (Kapton®): High heat resistant films often used in circuit board applications.
  • Polypropylene (BOPP) (Kimdura®): The most commonly used, low cost film for short term, but durable applications.
  • Polystyrene: A more rigid, durable, brittle film. It is used commonly as a non-pressure sensitive direct food contact applications.
  • Polyolefin: Similar to polypropylene, but is more conformable and less durable. Often used where an extra level of conformability is required.
  • Polyolefin (Tyvek®): A spun bond tag material that won’t easily tear and is very durable and light weight. Used for longer life tag applications.
  • Vinyl: A stretchy, conformable film that is often used for long term, outdoor applications.

Contact us with any questions regarding paper and film face stocks. We will work to ensure you get the bet material and adhesive for the job.