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Glossary of Terms

Cut Length/Cut Height (CL/CH):

The length of a shrink band or full body sleeve from top to bottom (open ends).

Full Body sleeve:

A shrink sleeve label that covers the entire container from top to bottom.

Horizontal Perf:

A perforation left to right (TD or Transverse Direction) which allows the portion of the shrink band covering the closure (cap) to be twisted and separate with the removal of the closure.

Lay Flat (LF):

The dimension of the shrink band from left to right (border to border – closed sides). The LF dimension is equal to ½ of the circumference of the band.

Machine Direction (MD):

The direction from open end to open end on a shrink band.


A series of small holes formed in a shrink band to make the band easier to remove. See "vertical perforation" and "horizontal perforation."


Pre-form is a type of shrink seal that is not laid flat. Rather, it is pre-formed to fit a specific type and size of container, such as a round deli-pack. The pre-form has a pre-formed lip that lays over the closure (typically a lid) and a pre-formed length down the side of the container making it easy to place on the container.

Random Print:

Print that is randomly placed on a cut band or roll stock. While easily readable, each individual line may not be complete. Example: "Sealed For Your Protection."

Registered Print:

A piece of printing that is placed in exactly the same position on each shrink band.

Roll Stock:

Shrink material on a roll (typically 500, 750, 900 meters in length) for use on an automatic machine. The machine feeds the roll of material, places it on the container to be sealed, cuts the correct length from the roll and places the container (with shrink band) on conveyer belt that carries it through a heat tunnel.

Seamed Band:

A shrink band that has a glued seam. Usually seamed bands are used when multiple colors, or full graphics are printed, or when extremely close dimensional tolerances are required.

Seamless Shrink Band:

A shrink band that is cut from an extruded (seamless) roll of PVC tubing.

Shrink Band:

A pre-cut piece of PVC tubing designed to be applied to a container and then shrunk by the application of heat. Once shrunk, the bands provide tamper-resistance and tamper-evidence.

Shrink Percentage:

The maximum percentage that a shrink band or shrink label will shrink. Usually, the material will shrink 5-10% in the machine direction (MD) and 40-45% in the transverse direction (TD).


The dimension of shrink bands or labels is stated in millimeters (25.4 mm = 1 inch). A cut band that is 6 inches in circumference and 1 inch tall and made from 2 mil material would be referred to as: 78 mm LF x 0.05 mm x 25 mm CL, where 76 mm lay flat of the band (left to right), 0.05 is the decimal equivalent of 2 mil (U.S.) and 25 mm is the cut length (top to bottom).

Transverse Direction:

The direction of a shrink band or shrink label that is from edge to edge (border to border or left to right).