Hanging tags with lettering. When we talk to our customers about the paper to be used to manufacture their cardboard labels, hang tags or hang tags, we very often hear: “I want a thick paper” or “I want a paper with body”, trying to convey an idea about the type of printed medium they want for their hang tags.
We use the term “grammage” as an indication of a certain type of paper, but to interpret it correctly we must distinguish between three basic concepts that are very important when selecting the type of paper: grammage, thickness and volume, three properties that are related to each other.
- When we talk about grammage on cardboard labels, we are referring to the weight of the paper (in grams per square metre), which is often confused with thickness. A paper weight of 400 g/m² indicates exactly that, that if we cut a sheet of 1 square metre, its weight would be 400 grams.
- Thickness is measured with a micrometer, and indicates the distance between the two surfaces of the paper in microns -µm- (thousandths of a millimetre). This concept affects the stability, feel and especially the thickness of the hang tags.
- The specific volume defines the ratio between thickness and grammage. The more volume a paper has, the thicker and lighter it is. However, a paper with a low volume will be more compact, thinner and heavier. This is due to the proportion of air and fillers it contains between its fibres, with low-volume paper being softer and vice versa.
The relationship to calculate these three values, and why they are related, is as follows:
Grammage = Thickness / Volume
For example, we can have two types of paper, both 130 g/m², but one with a thickness of 234 µm and the other with 143. The volume would be calculated by dividing both values and obtaining as a result that one will have a volume of 1.8 (light and thick) and the other of 1.1 (compact and thin). Approximately from 1.3 cm³/g we can start to consider that a paper has volume (carteo).
Conclusion: The specific volume, or “bulk” in English, is a very important factor in production and influences the perception of the final result of the hangtag. If we want to give the impression of a very thick cardboard label, a high bulk paper should be used.