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8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Envelopes

Who knew there was so much that went into an envelope (literally)!? Here are eight fun and useful facts about envelopes that you may not have known:


1. The side door is open.

Pssst…there’s a secret entrance! OK, maybe its not a secret, but some envelopes have side-openings instead of end-openings. End-openings are ideal for hand-insertion applications and catalogs, whereas side-openings can accommodate automatic-insertion applications.

2. The anatomy of an envelope.

An envelope is made up seven components: a seal gum, throat, shoulder, seal flap, side flap, face, and bottom flap.

3. They're kind of like rice.

Envelopes can be either short-grain or long-grain, too! As a matter of fact, the grain-length and the direction which it runs in plays a large part in the folding, registration, binding, and quality of an envelope.

4. Those paper-cuts you always get on your tongue are avoidable.

Gone are the days of licking envelopes. Though gum seals are still standard, there are other closure options like latex, self-adhesives, pressure sensitive, metal clasps, and string and button.

5. That design on the inside isn't just for decoration.

You know that cool, confetti-looking tint that is sometimes on the inside of mailings you receive? Well, it’s actually meant for security reasons! But don’t worry, if you really like the look of it and don’t need the security, you can still use decorative liners just for fun.

6. You can put the windows down.

Roll the window down and let the breeze blow through your… envelope? That’s right! When you want to show off the contents of an envelope from the exterior, there are many combinations of shape, material (or lack thereof), and position for windows to choose from.

7. There are rules.

You can mail just about anything these days – a coconut, a potato, a frisbee, even a piñata. But, when it comes to business mailings, the United States Postal Service has strict regulations as to size and content. Don’t worry, there’s a guide for that.

8. Treat them like fruit.

Just like apples and bananas, your envelopes should be stored in a cool, dry place, and the oldest ones should be used first.


Want to learn more about envelopes or how to decide what kind of envelope is right for your business? We can help! Check out our extensive descriptions of all these factors plus more on our envelopes page and contact us with any additional questions or to get started with an order.

Interested in ordering envelopes?