2024 FAQs About Stretch Films

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Stretch films have become the go-to packaging method in today’s era. Their simplicity and versatility allow you to use them for a wide range of uses, including but not limited to transporting materials, protecting shipments, storing items, and more.

If you’re looking for more information on stretch films, like why they’re the perfect choice for packaging and other details, then this guide has all the answers you need.

Uses of Stretch Films

The ability of a stretch film to shield products of any structure, dimensions, and weight from damage permits it to be used in various ways; we’ve listed the major ones below.

1. Packaging and wrapping

The most convenient solution for wrapping up products is the application of stretch films. Not only do these films protect the goods from moisture and dust, but they’re also cost-effective. Stretch films are available in different ranges of thickness, referred to as the gauge of a film; hence, any item, whether light or heavy in nature, can be wrapped up.

Due to the sturdiness of the stretch film, it’s a common application for fragile items as it keeps them from moving and breaking. Due to the materials it’s made from, it is incredibly elastic and can cover any object, including cutlery, furniture, pallets, electronics, and much more. The wrapping process can be either done by people, or at times, high-speed machines are used in larger industries to wrap up products that are bulkier in nature and require more strength to tightly seal them up.

2. Food preservation

Households and even the food industry have played a huge part in utilising a stretch wrapper to preserve food. The shelf life of perishable food increases considerably when it’s wrapped up with a film. Apart from that, the stretch film also maintains the quality of food as the chances of contamination reduces, leading to less food waste.

Along with that, the clarity of the stretch films allows you to see if the food item has been spoiled or not. Not just that, but you can wrap your opened drinks with the film as well without the fear of it turning flat.

3. Palletization and industrial use

Logistics and manufacturing departments of industries are renowned for using stretch films as one of their main materials for packing. Pallets are commonly used to load the goods in trucks or any other type of vehicle for transporting products. As there’s a chance of the boxes toppling and moving during the process, the stretch film helps to keep the products in place and their integrity intact.

4. Retail display

Another application of the stretch films is to protect the products in retail businesses. While on display, the stocks are wrapped up for an organised and clean look on shelves that the customers can survey and pick out the things they need. Along with that, the film protects against any type of vandalism or damage to the product by people.

Why Stretch Films Are Ideal For Packaging

There are a plethora of reasons why stretch films are one of the primary materials used to package products. Some of them include:

1. Elasticity and Versatility in Packaging Application

The elastic property of a stretch film grants it the ability to mold entirely into the object’s size and form, regardless of whether it is irregular or uniform. The robustness of the film allows items of any weight, including furniture, machines, pallets, silverware, canned or opened food and drinks, paintings, etc., to be wrapped around without any trouble.

However, sealing a heavy-weight product is a job that requires two or three people, or high-speed machinery that is used to pack the products quicker in bigger industries. Apart from that, stretch films come in various gauges, which fulfill the specific requirements of every application.

2. Protection and Resistance to Wear and Tear

In spite of their thin look, the stretch films actually possess qualities that are resistant to tears and punctures of products and they act like a barrier. The highest chance of the products being damaged is during the transport or storage of them in a supply chain, which is where the stretch films come in handy as it’ll prevent them from moving.

So, whether the product is delicate or bulky, a simple thin film can safeguard it from dust, moisture, dirt, and other environmental elements during transit. Along with that, the possibility of stretch film tearing is very rare compared to other packaging materials like cardboard.

3. Eco-friendly

A new form of stretch film has been in demand lately, which is an eco-friendly film that is created using all-natural materials, making it biodegradable and great for recycling. This type of film is beneficial for the environment as it leaves no microplastics or any other harmful toxins or gases behind even after being decomposed. The stretch wrapper is good for human health as well, as the plastic containers contain elements that are toxic for your food, whereas the former is much safer.

4. Economical and Convenient

Stretch films are pretty easy to use as they are adhesive in nature, allowing for a fast and trouble-free application without having to use any other extra material. Not only that, but you’ll be saving a lot of money as they’re lightweight; hence, the shipping costs automatically get reduced in terms of the weight, making it the perfect solution to secure the products and transport them to your customers.

5. Transparency

Another reason to choose a stretch wrapper as your choice of cover material is the advantage of its transparency. There will be no need to unwrap any packages, as its clarity will allow the visibility of the product which makes quality check inspections and management facile. Apart from that, customer satisfaction rises up when they’re able to visualize the state of the merchandise they are about to buy.

How Homestraw Utilises Stretch Films?

Homestraw is a manufacturing company that excels at producing sustainable stock that does not cause harm to the climate. They create diverse products, including cutlery, straws, plates, tape, and much more. One of the products that they sell is biodegradable wraps.

These transparent rolls weigh 2.65 lbs. and can be bought in a size of 45 x 10973 cm, making them perfect for application on furniture and pallets. Not only that, but they also strategically use the stretch film in packaging their own products for shipping. As they are an eco-friendly company, their stretch film is made up of natural raw materials and used for packing their cutlery and straws to prevent any type of abrasions or scratch marks during storage and transportation from the store to the customers, as it averts the moving of products.


The questions that arise when it comes to stretch films are endless. To understand more about what they are, we’ve answered some of the commonly asked questions regarding the wraps.

What is a Stretch Film?

Stretch film is the most frequent tool used in packaging, whether in houses for foods and drinks or on industry levels for the transportation of various items. This film can stretch all over the products, regardless of their size, and bind to them due to its adhesive properties. It’s typically made out of elastic plastic, mostly containing linear low-density polyethylene (LLDP). Other ingredients, such as LDPE, EVA, and PVC, are also used at times. However, eco-friendly films made of natural ingredients, most of which are plant-based, are in the market as well.

What is the Difference Between Stretch Film and Shrink Film?

These two films may cause confusion among people regarding when to use which one. To simplify it, a stretch film, also sometimes known as the pallet wrap, is used for packaging materials before transporting and shipping them. The film stretches out and covers the entire product, whereas the shrinking film cannot be stretched and is better used for packing food.

What are the Different Types of Applications of Stretch Films?

There are two ways, either by machine or hand, how you can apply a film to your products. 

  1. Hand-stretched film: This film can be used easily and manually by people, which is why it’s known as the hand wrap. They come in multiple widths and dimensions, and the majority of them are lightweight ensuring easier handling.
  2. Machine stretched film: On the other hand, the machine-stretched wraps are famous for being more efficient due to their quick speed and safe application. You’ll also wrap up more quantity of goods in a shorter time compared to the hand wraps.

How many types of stretch film are available?

As there are numerous choices in the types of stretch films present, it can be overwhelming to understand the kind that fits your requirements. To make it easier, we’ve broken down the films into four main types that are the most common ones you’ll come across.

  1. Blown Stretch Film: This film is manufactured by using a specific process named as the blown extrusion process. For this, a granular resin is typically used and heated until it melts and is then transferred into a die with air blown inside it to create the film. It’s known to be one of the strongest and most durable wraps, with very minimal chances of any tearing. It’s also resistant to punctures. The film can also shrink back to the original size after being stretched; however, its clarity isn’t that appreciable.
  2. Cast Stretch Film: The process of the cast wrap is similar to the blown film, including the use of resin; however, a narrow-slotted die is used instead of a circular one like in the latter. Its transparency is excellent, with a lower unwinding noise, and it has moderate durability. However, it doesn’t fully go back to its original size once stretched.
  3. Pre-stretched film: As the name suggests, a pre-stretched film is already stretched before being rolled, due to which it has easier application and is a good way to save costs as it requires less wrapping. It’s less complicated to handle and has exceptional clarity, which allows for better barcode scanning and quality checking.
  4. Colored stretch film: One of the greatest ways to organize, label, and identify products is to color-code them, which speeds up the logistics and minimizes the misplacement of loads. This can be possible by using a colored film that you can apply to pallets in order to help your merchandise stay in an organized fashion. The color film is as durable as a clear one, and the opacity helps in being resistant to UV lights, resulting in the protection of heat-sensitive items.  

What is the Thickness of Stretch Film?

Stretch films are measured according to their thickness, which is known as the gauge. It’s commonly expressed in microns. If you’re looking for stretch wraps that are sturdy and hard-wearing, then it’s best to choose higher-gauged films. It can be puzzling to understand when to use which gauged film as they can be found in multiple thicknesses; hence, we’ve specified some of the common ones used.

37 Gauge Wraps: This one is already pre-stretched for a smoother application to a lighter weight (up to around 800 lbs.).

60-65 Gauge Wraps: These films provide more strength and resistance to tearing due to their thickness and can hold up weight from 1600 lbs. up to 2,200 lbs.

90/100/150 Gauge Wraps: These gauged films are some of the heaviest and most robust, and their application needs machines. They are a convenient solution for pallets with products that are heavy, asymmetrical, taller, and require more tension to keep in place during storage or transit. They can hold weights of approximately 3000 lbs to 4000 lbs.

Is Stretch Wrap Recyclable?

If you’re worried about the use of stretch films causing harm to the environment, then you’ll be happy to know about how recycling them is common, which leads to less pollution. Some films are made from environmentally-safe materials and are plant-based which decompose themselves without leaving any sort of pollutant behind.

For a stretch film that isn’t sustainable, there’s still a way for it to be recycled. This is done by using machines called balers. This makes the used material compact, after which the raw ingredients are sorted out and further recycling process is carried out.

How to Choose the Right Stretch Film?

There are countless options when it comes to selecting a stretch film, so we’re here to guide you on how to decide on the one that works best for you. Certain factors are taken into consideration when selecting the most suitable film, such as:

Shape and Weight of the Load: If the objects on the pallet are hefty, sharp, or uneven, then you’ll require thick stretch films to be able to carry the load. On the other hand, you won’t need higher-gauge films for merchandise with a light weight, as the holding power requirements are comparatively lower as compared to the former.

Type of Stretch Film: It’s important to know whether your product requires a machine for wrapping or hand wrapping. You’ll know this by assessing your shipment size and the number of employees. Once you’ve done that, browse through the numerous types of stretch films available and check whether you need weighty ones for bulkier and irregular boxes on pallets or a lightweight film suited for fragile and uniform objects.

What is the Formula for Stretch Film?

A bit of math comes into play when you have to figure out how much a stretch film is worth. The most usual method for this is to first measure the length, width, density, and gauge of the film, then multiply all the numbers together, which results in the unit weight of the film in KG.

Weight = L x W x D x G

What is Film Force?

You must have noticed how rubber bands try to go back to their original state when they are stretched, which is exactly the way stretch films work. The attempt of the film to move back to its original shape once stretched creates tension known as the film force, which helps in unifying and firmly securing the goods.

The load tension has an important role, as the amount that’s required depends upon the measurements and vulnerability of your products. For bulky pallets, you can use a thick film, which provides greater tension to hold things in place, while for delicate items, the requirements of the film force will be considerably less.

Is Stretch Wrap Waterproof?

Stretch films aren’t completely waterproof; however, the raw ingredients they are made from, the thickness, and the application technique play a role in determining the waterproof abilities of the film. Therefore, some types of stretch film (which are mainly made out of LLDPE or HDPE) are more water-resistant compared to others.


To sum up, stretch films have always had a pivotal part in packaging products in various departments, ranging from household to retail to industrial scale. The gauged film is indispensable and has been used to protect and secure goods of any size and unit weight. 

Their thickness, strength, and flexibility allow them to resist wear and tear, prevent moisture and dust, and ensure an effortless process of chain supply. Moreover, to promote environmentally friendly products, manufacturers like Homestraw have converted to using degradable films for their packaging, leading to a sustainable future.

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