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Buyers Guides & Videos - Envelopes and Envelope Bags

What type of envelope or bag do I need?

There are many different types of envelopes available so think about what you need to send before purchasing. The size of document or item will be important to finding the right envelope as well as how much protection your document or item will need. Below we’ve outlined the most popular types of envelopes and envelope bags on the market to help you decide.

 

Board Backed Envelopes

Board backed envelopes have a rigid cardboard back that is designed to protect documents from being bent, squashed, folded or torn in the post. Ideal for important contracts, artwork, certificates and photographs, they are available in a wide range of different sizes including C4 and C3 envelopes. The cardboard back is combined with high quality paper from 90gsm up to 450gsm to provide increased strength and durability across the whole envelope. Finally, these envelopes are available with a peel and seal or dual seal system tear strip so documents stay secure too.

 

Padded Envelopes

Padded envelopes, or bubble bags as they are also known, have an exterior made from heavy paper with a padded interior of either recycled newsprint or bubble wrap. As a result, these envelopes are ideal for sending clothing, DVDs, books and other small items as they help to prevent contents being damaged in transit. Jiffy is the leading manufacturer of padded envelopes and they offer a fantastic range of high quality envelopes in different sizes, colours and sealing options.

 

Details on padded envelope sizes can be found here.

 

Gusseted Envelopes

If you have oversized items you need to post, such as catalogues, books or folders, gusseted envelopes have a v-base which expands to offer increased space for larger documents. They have a folding flap around three sides and are available in different thicknesses, between 20mm and 70mm.

 

As heavier items are usually sent in gusseted envelopes, it’s important to consider the paper quality when buying these envelopes. The heavier the weight of the paper (measured as gsm), the greater the strength and durability. 90gsm to 155gsm gusseted envelopes are available in a range of sizes, including C4, B4 and D4 envelopes, with peel and seal or press seal closing options.

 

CD Envelopes

CD envelopes are specially designed for the safe shipping CDs and have an all-board or a corrugated board construction to provide comprehensive protection while in transit. These envelopes have self-adhesive closures and usually come with a tear-off strip for easy opening.

 

Internal Mail Envelopes

Internal mail envelopes are used to send confidential and private documents within offices. They can be reused as there’s space on the front of these envelopes to write recipient’s names. Depending on whether you use a C4 or C5 envelope you can write up to 36, 50 or 100 names. As they are reused multiple times they typically use a higher quality of paper, either 85gsm, 115gsm or 125gsm, and have resealable flaps that keep documents secure and confidential.  Available in manilla brown or manilla orange, these envelopes also have punched holes to show instantly if documents are inside. 

Wage Envelopes

Made from 80gsm manilla paper, wage envelopes will securely hold cash notes, coins, cheques and payslips. These pocket style envelopes use a strong adhesive seal to prevent any tampering and are available in a range of styles. Envelopes without windows allow contents to stay confidential but if you need to display employee details, envelopes are available with a clear window or with a pre-printed layout that lets you write employee or payslip details.

 

What sizes of envelope do you stock?

Envelopes commonly use the C series of paper sizes which are about 9% larger than the A series of paper sizes so are designed to fit A-sized documents. For example a C4 envelope will fit an A4 sheet of paper and a C5 envelope will fit A5 documents or A4 paper folded in half. Envelopes are available in different sizes outside the C series and these include DL envelopes and wage envelopes. Padded envelopes use a different sizing system to the C series as they need to accommodate larger items.

 

C4 Envelopes

C4 envelopes are designed to fit unfolded sheets of A4 paper, A4 brochures or A3 documents that have been folded in half once. These envelopes are most common within offices as they are ideal for sending contracts, invoices or catalogues through the post. Available with or without a window, C4 envelopes come in white, manilla brown or a variety of different colours.

 

C4 envelopes are classed as “Large Letter” for calculating Royal Mail postal charges as of 31st March 2014. If the thickness of the envelope exceeds 25mm or weighs over 750g it will be priced as “Small Parcel”. For up-to-date Royal Mail prices please go to http://www.royalmail.com/prices-2014

 

C5 Envelopes

C5 envelopes will comfortably hold A5 sheets of paper or A4 documents folded in half once, so are a good versatile option for small offices or personal use. Unlike C4 sizes, these envelopes are available in a much larger range of colours as well as the standard white and brown versions. Suitable for bills, invoices and leaflets, C5-sized envelopes come in different GSM paper qualities and seal options.

 

C5 envelopes fall under the price category “Letter” for calculating Royal Mail postal charges as of 31st March 2014. If the thickness of the envelope exceeds 5mm or weighs over 100g it will be priced as “Large Letter”. For up-to-date Royal Mail prices please go to http://www.royalmail.com/prices-2014

 

DL Envelopes

DL envelopes are commonly used to send either business or personal letters as they are designed to take a sheet of A4 paper that has been folded lengthwise into three equal sections. Ideal for posting letters, bills and invoices, DL envelopes are 110mm x 220mm in size and are available in either white or manilla brown, with or without a window.

 

If you’re sending out letters that include the address at the top of the page it’s worthwhile getting an envelope with a window as you won’t have to use a separate address label. However, if your letters are private and confidential then it’s advisable to use a DL envelope without a window.

 

DL envelopes fall under the price category “Letter” for calculating Royal Mail postal charges as of 31st March 2014. If the thickness of the envelope exceeds 5mm or weighs over 100g it will be priced as “Large Letter”. For up-to-date Royal Mail prices please go to http://www.royalmail.com/prices-2014

 

Non-Standard Envelope Sizes

For documents that aren’t A paper sizes or don’t fit into C4, C5 or DL sized envelopes, there’s a range of non-standard envelope sizes available at Euroffice. This range includes C6, C3 and D4 envelopes as well as 15 other envelope sizes from 98mm x 67mm to 444mm x 368mm.

 

To calculate Royal Mail postal charges for these envelopes please go to http://www.royalmail.com/

 

What size of padded envelope do I need?

Padded envelopes use a different sizing system to standard envelopes. Find out which size of padded envelope you need for the items you’re sending, using the table below.

 

Internal Size (mm)

Bag No.

Usage Suggestions

90 x 45

000

Jewellery

115 x 195

00

Business Cards

140 x 195

0

CDs

170 x 245

1

DVDs / A5 Documents

205 x 245

2

Small Gifts

220 x 320

3

A5 Diary

240x340

4

A4 Documents / Brochures

260 x 345

5

Books

290 x 445

6

T-Shirts / Clothes

340 x 445

7

A3 Documents

 

Which envelopes provide additional protection for documents and items?

For important documents like contracts, invoices, certificates and photos, board backed envelopes provide protection against contents getting bent or damaged in the post. For small items, padded envelopes have bubble wrap or recycled newsprint linings to prevent against bumps or drops.

What envelope seal options are available?

There are three types of envelope seal options – peel and seal, press seal, and gummed. Peel and seal envelopes are the most common as they’re quick and easy to use and can be stored in the stationery cupboard for longer periods of time. They use a protective plastic strip over the adhesive on the envelope flap so the adhesive stays sticky for longer. When you’re sealing these envelopes all you need to do is pull off the strip and press the flap against the back of the envelope.

 

Press seal envelopes are pre-gummed with adhesive on both the envelope and the flap. They work by pressing the flap down onto the corresponding strip of adhesive on the envelope. Unlike peel and seal, these envelopes don’t have a plastic strip protecting the adhesive. As a result, if not used, the adhesive will dry up. However if you’re posting large volumes of letters at once or plan to use these envelopes within a short period time these are a good option as they’re usually the quickest to seal.

 

Traditional gummed envelopes need to be moistened or licked to seal so are better suited for one-off or small volumes of mail where you want to show a more personal touch.

 

What GSM of envelope do I need?

GSM refers to the strength and quality of paper used, and envelopes are available in a range of GSM options for 80gsm to 450gsm. Standard 80gsm envelopes are suitable for everyday office use but if you’re posting heavier documents or catalogues it’s best to get 100gsm envelopes or higher.

 

These heavier weight gusseted envelopes will provide both greater strength and durability to help prevent envelopes from splitting while in transit. Board backed envelopes also typically use a higher quality paper to protect documents from bending when posted, and are available in a range of paper qualities including 115gsm envelopes and 130gsm envelopes.

 

Which brands of envelopes and bags do you stock?

For everyday office and business use we stock envelopes from 5 Star, Basildon Bond, New Guardian, Conqueror and other brands. New Guardian also offers a range of gusseted envelopes, internal mail envelopes and board back envelopes. Plus Fabric and Tyvek gusseted envelopes are also available.

 

For padded envelopes, Jiffy have over 60 types to choose from but we also stock 5 Star and Keepsafe envelopes in this range too. Keepsafe are also the main supplier of our range of polythene bags. 

What type of envelope or bag do I need?

Polythene Envelope Bags

For sending magazines or catalogues or clothing by post, polythene bags are a good alternative to standard envelopes as they’re flexible, lightweight and waterproof. C3, C4 and C5 envelope bags are available in clear, opaque and white options and many include panels for writing and labelling.

Clear polythene bags allow contents to be easily identified and have small white-printed panels for writing addresses, so are good if you’re sending promotional material. Opaque and white polythene envelope bags are non-transparent and ideally suited for the sending of confidential mail.

 

Which brands of envelopes and bags do you stock?

For everyday office and business use we stock envelopes from 5 Star, Basildon Bond, New Guardian, Conqueror and other brands. New Guardian also offers a range of gusseted envelopes, internal mail envelopes and board back envelopes. Plus Fabric and Tyvek gusseted envelopes are also available.

 

For padded envelopes, Jiffy have over 60 types to choose from but we also stock 5 Star and Keepsafe envelopes in this range too. Keepsafe are also the main supplier of our range of polythene bags. 

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