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Kraft Paper: The 101 Guide

Using plain brown boxes when developing customized packaging is never a good option. Kraft paper for packaging is gaining popularity despite its dull color. And now, cardboard boxes are typically avoided. The color of the Kraft paper makes it so well-liked. Moreover, its rustic appearance, toughness, and sustainability contribute to its success. 

After reading this article, you will learn what Kraft paper is, its types, why it is gaining acceptance in the 21st century, and how you can use recyclable Kraft Packaging for your products.   

A Brief Introduction to Kraft Paper for Packaging

introduction of kraft paper

Kraft Paper is a particular type of paper developed from pulp. The word "Kraft" means "strong" in German, and this is the trait that makes it so appealing to the packaging manufacturers. 

Kraft Paper is produced with raw wood fiber or "virgin" pulp. Kraft paper for packaging has a greater Sulfur percentage than other methods like recycled paperboard or solid bleached sulfate (SBS). The higher Sulfur content does not allow cellulose to degrade and makes the fibers robust.  

Kraft Paper that has been coated and not bleached is dark brown and contains no harmful chemicals. This kind of paper is completely environmentally friendly. However, companies use bleaching processes to produce white pulp from it. 

Corrugated Cardboard is also made from Kraft paper. The fluting technique adds layers to the cardboard, giving it more durability and strength.  

The Evolution of Kraft Packaging

custom kraft packaging

The Kraft pulping technique, invented by German Carl F. Dahl in the 1880s, gave rise to Kraft paper, which is now a packaging material. Dahl discovered that if you treat the cellulose pulp with specific chemicals (sulfates), it boosts the firmness of the paper. Typically, wood is "pulped" in paper production. 

Initially, it was used as wrapping paper. But later on, Kraft paper's strength and durability made it ideal for creating packaging materials like the iconic Brown Cardboard Boxes that we all know today. 

Regular Paper vs. Kraft 

Kraft Paper is stronger than regular paper. The Kraft process, which was previously discussed, aids in the extraction of more lignin from Kraft wood pulp. This lignin leaves more cellulose and provides Kraft paper with tear-resistant and durable qualities. 

Additionally, raw Kraft Paper Packaging is more absorbent than regular paper. The printing technique on it is somewhat less successful, yet it is incredibly friendly to particular finishing procedures like: 

  • Debossing/Embossing 
  • Foil Stamping

Read More: Embossing Vs Debossing In Packaging Which One Is A Better Option?

How is the Packaging Industry Utilizing Kraft?

kraft paper for packaging

Today, Corrugated Boxes are the most common usage for Kraft paper, but carton boxes are also becoming increasingly common. Because Kraft paper is resilient, the e-commerce sector uses these boxes to safeguard products because they can withstand handling stages during shipping. 

Businesses frequently utilize Kraft Packaging Boxes to demonstrate eco-friendly initiatives and meet sustainability goals. It is all possible because of brown Kraft paper's rustic and raw appearance. 

Kraft Paper is incredibly adaptable in the modern packaging industry and enables a wide range of creative packaging ideas. Let's see how:  

Packaging Design Ideas for Kraft Paper 

Eco-Friendly Ink 

Even though Kraft paper seems fantastic on its own, printing enchanting Kraft packaging design will tell your brand's story. In practice, Kraft paper is one of the easiest kinds of paper for the printing process. Choose water-based or soy-based ink over petroleum-based ink because these options are more environmentally friendly. To improve the appearance of your box, you can also add extras like foil stamping and debossing/embossing

Customized Kraft Inserts 

Custom Kraft inserts are an additional option for your boxes. These inserts assist in keeping your products in place and lessen the chance of damage occurring during shipping. They also make the customers' unwrapping experience a little more fascinating.  

Window Cut-outs 

Normally, if a box has a window cut out, the window is covered by a thin plastic film. You can eliminate the usage of plastic by just leaving your cut-out window uncovered. 

Kraft Tray and Sleeve Boxes 

Tray and sleeve Boxes are another option to avoid using mailer boxes or folding cartons. These boxes work well for lightweight packaging products and provide customers with an amazing unboxing experience. It is because of the sliding tray that elegantly shows your contents.

Read More: Reason: Why People Should Order Customize Kraft Boxes? 

Benefits of Kraft Paper 

custom kraft box packaging

1. Eco-friendliness of Kraft Paper 

As was already mentioned, the manufacturing process of Kraft paper is environmentally friendly. The high recycling potential makes it the best choice among other paper types. This guarantees that your company is consciously choosing to produce Eco Friendly Boxes

The main thing to remember is that Kraft paper packaging must be completely uncoated with any chemicals to call it completely biodegradable or compostable. For instance, putting a thin plastic film of lamination in a Kraft paper box may increase the duration of decomposition because the lamination is not biodegradable.  

2. It is Versatile and Durable 

Kraft paper is recommended for its robust nature. Kraft paper boxes can withstand heat, humidity, and hard handling stages. That is why Kraft packaging boxes are ideal for delicate items like jewelry or heavier objects like electronics. They work well in delivery and shipment as well. 

Kraft paper is versatile and can be molded into various boxes, from rigid boxes to folding cartons. Because of this, Kraft paper is always a choice, regardless of your product type. 

2 Major Forms of Kraft Paper 

Coated Unbleached Kraft (CUK) 

The below-provided information is the most fundamental to selecting the right Kraft type for your products.

1. Besides the chemicals used in the unique Kraft process, there is no "bleaching" or further chemical addition, which makes it ideal for usage. 

2. Because of this, CUK is known as Solid Unbleached Sulfate, or SUS, and contains 80% virgin wood/cellulose pulp. 

3. This is firm without being overly thick and has excellent tear resistance. 

4. It is a delicate packing substrate made of Kraft paper. 

5. Its surfaces include a naturally occurring titanium dioxide-kaolin clay layer that enhances smoothness and facilitates printing. 

Coated Recycled Board (CRB) 

1. Packaging Kraft paper made from CRB is entirely recycled. 

2. As it's not manufactured of virgin fiber, it has fewer tolerances than SBS. 

3. Moreover, this type of Kraft box is cheap, which is great for applications where strong tear-strength/resistance is not required, like cereal boxes. 

4. Additionally, it is simple to use for any type of industry.   

5. Kraft paper layers are added to corrugated boxes to increase their robustness. 

6. This process is known as fluting.

Read More: How to Recycle Packaging Materials? A Quick Guide!

Find the Best Kraft Paper for Your Needs by Checking the Following Features  

To find the best Kraft paper for your need, check the grammage and basis weight feature first. 

Grammage measures how a sheet of paper covers much surface area. Grammages are usually measured in grams per square meter (g/m2), but they can be converted to pounds per ream (lb./yd2). It means that if you want to calculate how many sheets of Kraft would fit on one roll when it's cut into 4" x 9" strips, simply multiply your desired length by 0.005762 and then divide that number by 0.009521 - because this ratio determines how many sheets will fit on one roll! 

Basis weight refers to how much pressure has been applied during manufacture; it's often used as an indicator for strength or durability.  

Bringing all the Above Facts Together 

We hope this article has helped you understand Kraft paper and its use in packaging. It's easy to get lost in the world of packaging materials, but we've tried to give you everything you need to know about this popular product so that when your next project comes up, it won't be hard to choose the right one!

custom boxes

Moreover, we are always here for you if you need any assistance. At Half Price Packaging, we offer Kraft paper for packaging and soy-based ink printing to ensure that the packaging is completely compostable and recyclable. What else? Each time you order 1000 boxes, we plant one tree and give it to your business as a present.