As the climate change conversation continues, we all need to find ways to do old things in new ways to preserve the world. Climate change or not, we still need to package our foods and groceries but even with this, we should still have climate change at the back of our minds.
Kraft paper is a splendid packaging solution that solves most of our environmental preservation problems. And thankfully, these papers are beautiful, strong, and great for branding.
If you have never heard of Kraft paper, you don’t need to scratch your head. Kraft paper is simply cardboards.
Yes, those simple cardboards you use for packing your clothes when you’re relocating from one city to another. Those papers you use to pack your groceries at the grocery stores. Many of these are Kraft papers.
Perhaps, you must have heard of Butcher paper. Butcher paper, cardboards, paper sack, whichever name you’re familiar with, these are all Kraft paper.
In this article, we will unbox what Kraft papers are, how they’re made, and why they are many businesses’ favorite packaging forms.
If you are ready, let’s delve right into some Kraft paper art and history, shall we?
What Are Kraft Papers?
Kraft papers are strong papers made using the Kraft methods. Kraft papers are biodegradable, sturdy, and beautiful.
This definition is simple yet packed with meaning. To better understand and genuinely appreciate Kraft’s paper, we need to explain some concepts.
What Is the Kraft Method?
The name Kraft sounds familiar? Does it sound like something you did in preschool? Arts and craft?
Well, this Kraft is slightly different from what you were taught in preschool.
This type of Kraft has a different meaning and origin. While kraft papers are beautiful, they are used for doing several things such as packaging.
Kraft is a German word that means Strength. So, kraft papers are Strong papers.
The Kraft method was discovered in 1879 by Engineer Carl F. Dah who worked in a Paper Mill. One day, in a bid to get stronger papers, Carl F. Dah decided to treat sulfate woodchips. When he did, the resultant paper was stronger than the regular paper.
How Does the Kraft Method Work?
The process of making papers involves ‘cooking’ the woodchips in ‘white liquor. White liquor is a chemical used to separate the two main chemicals in woodchips: Lignin and cellulose.
The white liquor is meant to separate the lignin from the cellulose. White liquor is made up of Sodium sulfide and sodium hydroxide. To get Kraft pulp, the White Liquor contains up to 35% of sulfide.
After the woodchips are cooked in the White Liquor, black liquor and solid pulp is left. Then the pulp is washed to remove any form of residual liquors.
It is the pulp that is used to make Kraft papers.
Types of Kraft Papers
You must have seen different forms of Kraft papers, from the strong to the not so strong; the white ones, the brown ones, and black ones. Have you ever wondered what makes these Kraft papers different?
There are two significant ways we different between Kraft papers:
- The materials they’re made from; and
- The finishing they have.
- The Materials They’re Made From
Different materials are used to make Kraft papers. The reason for the different material choice depends on various factors such as:
- Eco-friendly consideration: Although the Kraft process is environmentally friendly, the material used has different eco-friendly levels.
- Strength of material: The level of sturdiness you want your kraft paper to be will determine the type of material you’ll use. If you want it sturdy enough with high tear resistance, it’s advisable to use some particular material.
So, based on materials used, what types of kraft papers do we have?
- Virgin Kraft Papers: Virgin kraft papers are made from raw pulp. Woodchips are cooked in white liquor, and the pulp is used to make Kraft papers. With virgin kraft papers, the process is straightforward: wood pulp with high sulfide level is used to make papers.
The Advantages of Virgin Kraft Papers
- Strong: Virgin kraft papers are sturdy. They have high moisture and are tear-resistant. The increased structural integrity makes them a prime favorite for companies who need packaging materials that will last long.
- Lightweight: Nobody wants to pack their clothes in cardboard that increases the weight of their luggage. Virgin kraft papers are lightweight, allowing you to pay less for luggage fees.
- By-products are helpful: The by-products from the process of manufacturing Virgin Kraft papers are valuable. Tall oil, a derivative, is used in the production of asphalt.
- Reduced manufacturing cost: The cost of making Virgin Kraft is cheap, making the final papers affordable.
- Visually appealing: The natural brown color of these papers is beautiful and can be branded to fit different companies’ preferences.
- Recycled Kraft Papers: Unused papers and cardboards, instead of disposing of them, can be used to make Kraft papers. Kraft papers made from recycling old papers and cardboards are Recycled Kraft Papers.
Advantages Of Recycled Kraft Papers
- These papers are eco-friendly because they help reduce the level of paper waste.
- Recycled Kraft papers are lightweight and easy to hold
- It doesn’t cost a lot to produce and is therefore affordable
- It has aesthetic appeal, and companies can brand packaging bags made from Recycled kraft papers.
Disadvantages Of Recycled Kraft Papers
- They are not as sturdy as Virgin kraft papers. Recycled kraft papers tear easily and are not very resistant to moisture.
- Mixed Kraft Papers: These are papers made from the combination of Virgin Kraft papers and Recycled Kraft papers, i.e., kraft papers made from recycled and virgin pulps.
Advantages of Mixed Kraft papers
- They are eco-friendly.
- They are cheap and affordable.
- They are solid and durable.
- Type of Finishing Used
Finishing is how the pulp is processed and turned into kraft paper.
Kraft paper can be finished in two ways:
- Bleached: This is Kraft paper whose natural brown color has been removed. These kraft papers are used when one wants to get a more visually appealing paper and high-value look.
There are four grades of bleached Kraft papers. They include:
- Machine Glazed: These are kraft papers that have gloss by the side. Machine glazed kraft papers are used for wrapping ‘high value goods.’
- Smoothed Finished: If you’re searching for a soft finish, then smoothed finish is what you need.
- Machine finished:These kraft papers are smooth, opaque, and used for commercial uses, such as carrier bags.
- Clay coated kraft: These kraft papers are very smooth, can be printed on, and have dimensional stability. In the graphic art industry, clay-coated kraft papers are the preferred papers. These papers are also coated with silicon on one side.
Advantages Of Bleached Kraft Paper
- These kraft papers are visually appealing and can be used for various branding purposes.
- Bleached kraft papers are lightweight
- High strength. Our bleached kraft paper has excellent strength, which is regular bleached kraft can not achieve.
Uses of Bleached Kraft Papers
- They are used for making folding papers.
- They are used for making packing sacks.
- Medical bleached kraft papers are used for making wound covers and medical adhesives.
- Hygiene release liners are used for making baby diapers.
- They are used for making shopping bags.
2. Unbleached: The natural brown color of the pulp is left untouched. Unbleached kraft papers are sturdy and equally visually appealing.
Recycled, Virgin, and mixed kraft papers are types of unbleached kraft papers. Other types of unbleached kraft papers are:
- Black Kraft paper
- Colored Kraft paper
- Printed Kraft paper
- Steel interleaving kraft paper
- Absorbent kraft paper
- Spinning kraft paper
- Electrotechnical kraft paper
- Foaming craft paper
- Sack Kraft paper
Common Kraft Paper Packaging Product
Kraft papers are used for different packaging products, from groceries to fashion accessories like a necklace.
The choice of what kraft paper packaging to use for different packages depends on factors such as:
- The weight of the good: The weight of groceries differs from the shoe’s weight. The thickness of the kraft paper depends on how heavy or light the good is. If the good’s weight is light, the kraft paper thickness and sturdiness would be less than if the good’s weight is heavy.
- The moisture in the good: For goods with moisture, you must use kraft papers with high moisture resistance and high tear resistance. If the product you want to package has a high moisture content, the kraft paper package must have high moisture resistance. Butcher bags, for example, have high moisture resistance.
- Kraft Paper Bag:
These bags are sturdy, moisture-resistant, and lightweight. They are used for packing groceries, sandwiches, clothes from boutiques, etc.
- Kraft paper boxes:
They are sturdier than kraft paper bags. These boxes are standard with companies that sell heavy goods such as shoes, pieces of jewelry. Kraft paper boxes are also used for packing clothes and other goods.
- Kraft Paper bowl:
These are sturdy bowls used for packaging things such as salads and other food items.
General Uses of Kraft Papers
Kraft papers are excellent for packaging goods such as shoes. Businesses can emblem their brand logo on Kraft paper boxes and paper bags.
Amazon uses Kraft Paper boxes in the goods they distribute. Businesses also design unique kraft bags and boxes as a form of branding. It protects the goods and promotes the brand.
Companies can wrap their products in unbleached kraft papers. The natural look and feel of kraft papers make them ideal for different wrapping functions.
And if you are concerned about the health safety of wrapping products, for example, raw food, with kraft papers, you need not worry. The manufacturing process of kraft papers depends less on chemicals than regular paper. Your products are healthy and safe to use.
- For lining particle boards
Benefits/Pros of Kraft Papers
Using kraft papers for your packaging needs gives you several benefits, from financial to environmental, and even aesthetic.
The manufacturing process of kraft papers is environmentally friendly. The level of air pollution is minimal. Also, by-products from manufacturing kraft papers help make other products. Tall oil, a derivative, is used in making asphalt.
The recycling of old papers and cardboard to make recycled Kraft papers means papers are not wasted. Cleaner environments, safe and clean products, all from kraft papers.
Also, to make kraft papers, you don’t need unique woods. From bamboo to pines, the range of woods used to make kraft papers is wide. Woods that are practically useless for making other things can be used to make kraft papers.
Because of wood ‘unselective’ kraft papers’ is, it saves the environment from useless woods, papers, and cardboards.
Kraft papers are helpful to businesses and individuals who send packaged goods across cities, countries, and even continents. The lightweight nature of kraft paper and kraft boxes means they don’t charge extra luggage fees.
Kraft’s lightweight paper also makes it easy to use for everyday people.
Kraft papers are sturdy, durable, and last long.
- Saves money:
The manufacturing process of Kraft paper is relatively cheap. It saves businesses money while offering premium packaging and protection qualities.
- Great for branding:
Natural unbleached kraft papers are perfect for branding. Businesses can, for small fees, brand their packaging using kraft papers and kraft boxes.
Products packaging is essential for business brand image and customer satisfaction. Kraft papers have made product packaging eco-friendly and beautiful. You can take full advantage of kraft paper’s excellent qualities and give your customers an incredible unboxing experience. All you have to do is to buy quality Kraft paper packaging from a trusted supplier.
Feel free to check our speciality paper and food grade bleached kraft for the kinds of Kraft paper that is perfect for your business.