Stretch Films 101: Everything You Need To Know To About

Stretch Films 101: Everything You Need To Know To About

Products often get damaged during shipping, and stretch films help keep the load firmly in place and save it from possible damage. Stretch film rolls are one of the most used types of packaging material. They are a simple yet effective way to package products properly.


In this blog, we shall discuss what stretch film wraps are, their types, and the benefits in length.

What Is a Stretch Film?

Stretch films or wraps are stretchable plastic films that are used to wrap a product to keep them in place securely. They are commonly used in shipping pallets to keep products and boxes locked-in during shipping. They are a must-have for eCommerce businesses that often ship products. They help pack the products properly and reduce product loss during shipment and loading and unloading.

Stretch films look similar to the plastic wrap that many use in their kitchen. But they are heavy-duty wraps and strong enough to bundle products together and keep them in place. Stretch films come in different grades, widths, and colours to meet your different applications.

Types of Stretch Films

Stretch wraps come in different types to meet different packaging needs:

Cast Stretch

Cast Stretch films have excellent clarity and they let the users see through the wraps. These films are easier to stretch and very quiet while coming off the roll. They offer two-sided cling that is helpful in securely wrapping the products. Cast films are inexpensive but they have less holding power and tear-resistance as compared to the blown wraps.

Blown Stretch

Blown films have the highest tear-resistant and are tougher than other types of stretch films. So, they are an ideal option when wrapping products that have sharper edges. However, they are very expensive and have poor film clarity, which means you can’t see through them. They are also a bit noisier while coming off the roll.

Hand Stretch Roll

Stretch wrap that is applied manually on the products is referred to as hand stretch wrap. It is also referred to as manual pallet wrap. Businesses that have lower capacity operations generally use hand stretch films.

Machine Stretch Film

Machine stretch film is applied with a machine – a stretch wrap machine. A machine stretch wrap leads to faster and efficient wrapping. It can secure more loads in lesser time. Its common types are pre-stretched films, cast machine stretch film, and blown machine film.

Pre-Stretch Film

You need to stretch pre-stretch film before using it on products or pallets. It is a multi-layer thinner and stronger stretch film. It is an environment-friendly process as less stretch film material is consumed while wrapping the load. A pre-stretch film is strong, stable, consistent, and requires minimal effort in application.

Colour Stretch

Colour stretch films are for those needs that are specific and general-purpose stretch films cannot accommodate them. They are ideal for international shipments, colour coding, and dating inventory. Colour stretch films are puncture resistant.

Benefits of a Stretch Film

The following are the benefits of a stretch film roll:

Product Protection

This is the very basic function and benefit of stretch film rolls. Wrapping the products in a stretch film will protect them from environmental factors, such as dirt, dust, and moisture. They help keep the load clean and dry but clearly visible. If you use UVI stretch film rolls, they can even protect the load from UV rays.

Reduced Product Damage

Stretch films allow you to wrap your load securely and make it stable with decreased chances of products being shifted here-and-there during shipping. Stretch rolls also assist in moving the load around with the help of a forklift conveniently.

Improved Handling Efficiencies

Stretch film rolls, when used along with angle boards, help in stacking the load higher on pallets. This maximizes the warehouse space while storing the products. Besides, you can easily wrap and move around the load, aiding in increased work productivity.

With the help of stretch film rolls, you can also conveniently stack odd-shaped loads that otherwise couldn’t be stacked on a flat surface.

Recyclable and Decreased Pilferage

Most stretch films are environment-friendly and 100% recyclable. If you keep them clean, they can also be recycled easily. Stretch rolls wrap and unitize the loads completely. Thus, they make pilferage harder as one has to first unwrap the load.

Best of all, an opaque stretch wrap can even conceal the product. If you use a clear stretch wrap, the scanning system can easily read it.

Inventory Management

Managing inventory becomes easy if all the like products are wrapped together. This reduces the chances of product separation, making inventory counting an efficient and time-saving process.

Shrink Wrap V/S Stretch Film

While stretch wraps are generally made of polyethylene plastic, shrink wraps are made of polyolefin plastics.

Shrink wrap is heat-sealed onto products. When you wrap your products with shrink wrap, you use a heat treatment process to shrink plastic to create an airtight seal. But shrink wrap is heavy-duty and keeps the goods bundled together. It is tight and rigid.

On the other hand, a stretch wrap looks similar to wraps used in the kitchen. It is stretched over palletized load and wrapped around it to keep everything secured and in place.

Common Application

Stretch wraps are commonly used to protect the load while it is being transported. Stretch wraps unify palletized goods – they keep them attached to the pallet and prevent them from shifting from it while shipping. Stretch films also protect the products from dust, dirt, and moisture. They can also be combined with other packaging inserts like bubble wraps for fragile items, like glassware. Bubble wraps along with stretch film rolls provide impact protection. Stretch wraps come in different types, like UV-resistant stretch wrap, blown stretch wrap, hand stretch wrap, and machine stretch wrap.

On the other hand, shrink wraps are generally used for consumer goods, like DVDs, iPhones, and even candies and chocolates. They are shiny and tight-clinging films that protect goods, while also show off what’s inside (they are transparent). Shrink wraps are airtight seals that prevent the ingress of dust, dirt, or bacteria (for food items). Thus, food and pharmaceutical companies also use shrink wraps to keep the food protected from contamination. Whether a product is tampered with or not is clearly visible in a shrink wrap. Thus, it prevents product pilferage and guarantees that customers get an untampered and brand-new product.

Final Say

Stretch wraps are used to hold loads together on a pallet while shipping. They come in a different variety and each one offers a different application. Now that you know the types and benefits of stretch film rolls, you can make a smart choice and choose the one that best fits your products and company.