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

Glassine is not actually glass, despite its name, but it does exhibit some characteristics of glass. A pulp-based substance called glassine has been confused for various substrates like wax paper, parchment, and even plastic. It could not appear to be conventional paper due to its distinctive appearance and feel. Also, it isn’t! Let’s examine the production of glassine in more detail to observe how each stage affects the finished result.

What Actually A Glassine Is?

Glassine is a relatively new material on the packaging scene; it is also used in custom packaging boxes. Glassine is a smooth, glossy paper that resists grease, air, and water. Typically, it comes in densities of between 50 and 90 g/m2 (0.010 and 0.018 lb/sq ft). Unless dyes are used to colour or make it opaque, it is translucent.

It is made using a process called supercalendering, in which the paper web is pushed through a stack of alternating steel- and fibre-covered rolls at the end of the paper machine after pressing and drying to flatten the paper fibres facing the same way.

As you go about your daily life, you actually constantly come upon glassine. Here are a few typical instances.

  • Bags for snacks and bread
  • Merchandising
  • Historical paper
  • Paper for tracing
  • Sheets or bags for art preservation

Usage of Glassine

Most frequently, glassine is utilised as a basis for further silicone coating for creating release liners. Glassine is also used in bookbinding as an interleaving paper, particularly to shield delicate pictures from touch with facing pages. 

The paper can be produced with a neutral pH and can guard against damage from spills, exposure, or rubbing. For book repairs, glassine sticky tape has been utilised. 

Glassine is used as a low-cost weighing paper in chemistry. It serves as a barrier between strips of food in the foodservice industry (for example: meat, baked goods). Glassine resists oil and makes it easier to separate different dishes and parcel the food items in custom packaging boxes.

How Is Glassine Produced?

Glassine is a glossy, smooth paper that resists grease, air, and water. It’s crucial to remember that glassine is not completely waterproof. It will seep water if you pour a glass of water over it. However, glassine provides good resistance to atmospheric elements under normal circumstances.

Yes, despite how it feels and seems, it is entirely made of wood pulp. Supercalendering, a novel method, is used to make glassine.

1- Firstly

First of all pulp is made from wood (as with any paper). Trees are chopped into chips, which are then heated to dissolve the lignin’s chemical link and release the cellulose. 

2- Secondly

Glassine paper manufacture, in contrast to the majority of other papers, necessitates a thorough lignin separation. After being bleached and treated, the pulp slurry is next passed through a moving wire cloth so that the water can drain out. Paper sheets start to develop when the strands mat and entwine.

3- Thirdly

This material is “calendered,” or crushed between tough pressure cylinders called calendars, once it has dried. The finished standard paper is at that moment.

Through a procedure known as supercalendering, glassine takes it one step farther. Multiple times are spent calendering the paper, usually on a specific machine with heating and cooling pressure calendars. Glassine fibres turned in the same direction as a result of this operation.

This procedure alters the paper at the cellular level, making it more complex than simple “pressing.” The paper’s capillaries are damaged, resulting in greater density, less porosity, and a glossy appearance.

Features That Make Glassine Sustainable

Is glassine more sustainable than plastic, a question we are frequently asked? Is it more environmentally friendly than other papers?

The environmental impact of glassine varies depending on the substance. The better query is: Can glassine help you meet your sustainability objectives while replacing an existing packaging material that you are using?

The advantages glassine has in terms of the environment are as follows:

  • The material is wood (not fossil fuels)
  • We can produce it using FSC-certified paper, which comes from trees that are often produced in ways that are ethical.
  • It may be recycled at the curb and adds a lot of value to the paper recycling process.
  • Naturally compostable and biodegradable

It is not an entirely eco-friendly substance!


Virgin Paper In Production Process

Glassine is currently always produced using only virgin paper.

Even while paper is a renewable resource and may be produced using responsibly cultivated raw materials, it still contains only virgin material.

Additionally, the production of glassine from wood uses a lot of resources and pollutes the air and water.

Given the choice between glassine paper and 100% recycled paper, EcoEnclose would choose the latter. For firms searching for plastic-free packaging, glassine is a great option when its functional advantages—its clarity and smooth finish—are required.

Here Give a Quick Look-



What Distinguishes Glassine From Regular Paper?

1.  Able To Withstand Grease And Moisture:

Standard paper absorbs water and is resistant to grease. Technically speaking, paper hygroscopicity, which causes the substrate to expand or contract according to the relative humidity of its surroundings, absorbs water vapor from the air.

Glassine’s cellulose is altered during the supercalendering process, making it less hygroscopic.

2. Tougher And More Resilient Than Similar-Weight Ordinary Paper

Glassine has a stronger bursting and tensile strength than normal paper because it is denser (nearly twice as dense!). You can get glassine choices at various grade, density, and strength levels since, like all papers, it comes in different weights.

3. Ineffectual

Paper’s “tooth,” which refers to how it feels on the surface, is toothless. The paper becomes rougher the greater the “tooth” value. Glassine is not abrasive because it lacks teeth.


At Plus Printers UK, glassine is our area of expertise. We have produced countless billions of Custom Boxes With Logo for glassine and envelopes for many years. Years of research have gone into developing the optimum glassine packaging options. 

Additionally, in order to overcome the challenges of printing on glassine paper, our Innovation Team experimented with several inks and printing techniques. Customers have used plus printers custom printed glassine envelopes, pouches, and bags across industries in a variety of applications, including soaps, chocolate wrappers, and sterilized surgical needles.

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