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Glossary of Terms Related To Label Printing

As a premier label printing company, there is a variety of technical terms and industry jargon we may use when strategizing on the optimal way to meet our clients’ label printing goals.

We are pleased to partner with Avery Dennison and share this valuable glossary with our customers. Here you will find definitions of frequently-used terms, as well as other resources related to label printing.

U-Z Terms


Ultimate Adhesion: The maximum adhesion available from a pressure-sensitive adhesive, determined by the force necessary to remove a strip of tape from a surface after an extended period of time.

Ultimate Strength: Term used to describe the maximum unit stress a material will withstand when subjected to an applied load in a compression, tension, or shear.

Ultra-Violet Letterpress: An abbreviation describing the process whereby ultra-violet curable inks are printed via the rotary letterpress process.

Ultra-Violet Resistance (UV): The ability of a material to withstand extended exposure to sunlight (ultra-violet) without degradation, hardening or excessive discoloration.

Ultra-Violet (UV): Zone of invisible radiations beyond the violet end of the spectrum of visible radiation.

Unbleached: A term applied to paper or pulp which has not been treated with bleaching agents.

Unsized: A term applied to papers to which no sizing has been added.

Untrimmed: Paper cut by slitters with the grain and by rotary cutters across the grain on a sheeting machine. This is less accurate and smooth than guillotine cutting.

Unwind: The force required to remove tape from the roll.

Unwind Adhesion: The force required to remove the tape from the roll under prescribed conditions.

Unwind Side: That side of the tape which is exposed as it is unwound from a roll.

UV: Ultra Violet light. UV is an important factor to consider when choosing an adhesive. UV can degrade some adhesives with extended exposure.

UV Stabilizer: Any chemical compound which, when admixed with a thermoplastic resin, selectively absorbs UV rays.


Varnish: Over-lacquer. A solution or suspension of one or more materials forming a protective or decorative film by oxidation, polymerization, or evaporation.

Vinyl or PVC: Plasticized Poly-Vinyl Chloride. A tough durable plastic film having excellent resistance to oils, chemicals and many solvents. It has excellent abrasion-resistance.

Viscosity: In printing inks, a broad term encompassing the properties of tack and flow.

Void: An uncoated area of either the adhesive or release coating of the tape.


Water Absorption: The measure of the amount of water which will be soaked in.

Water Finish (Steam Finish): A high glossy finish produced by moistening one or both sides of the paper as it passes through the calender stack.

Watermark: In papermaking, a design impressed on paper by the raised pattern of the dandy roll during manufacture.

Waterproof: A relative term applied to papers which have been heavily treated or laminated to resist moisture.

Wax Coating: The operation of applying a coating of paraffin or other wax to a sheet of paper.

Weatherability: The capability of a pressure-sensitive label to withstand the effects of weather.

Weaving: A poorly wound roll of tape in which the individual layers of tape are not in alignment with the other layers.

Web: A continuous sheet of pliable manufactured material.

Web Tension: The amount of pull or tension applied in the direction of travel of a web of paper by the action of a web-fed press.

Webbing: A condition of uneven adhesive transfer characterized by stringing of the adhesive from the applicator mechanism and the formation of dried adhesive film which clings to the applicator parts.

Wet-Strength: The tensile strength of paper if it is wetted after manufacture. Wet strength is increased by adding certain synthetic resins to the furnish.

Wet Tensile Strength: The tensile strength of a specimen of paper after it has been wetted with water under specified conditions. The wet strength may be of a more or less temporary nature, as in paper towels and tissues of a more permanent nature, as in bag papers, cookery parchment etc., where the paper is in contact with water for longer period of time.

Wetting: The ability of an adhesive to flow uniformly over the laminated surface to which it is bonded.

Wicking: Tendency of a liquid to travel through paper.

Winder: Equipment located at the dry end of the paper machine to take the web from the reel, trim off the edges, wind into firm rolls and slit into several rolls if desired.

Wire Side: That side of a paper which has come into contact with the wire of the paper machine during the process of manufacture

With the Grain: Folding or feeding paper into a press parallel to the grain of the paper.

Wrap-Around Label: Label that extends completely around bottle or can.

Wrinkle: Distortion in the material represented by creases which interrupt the continuous, smooth nature of the web. Wrinkles can be encountered running in any direction on the web.


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Yellowing: Defect manifested by a gradual color change in the original appearance of a pressure-sensitive label characterized by the development of yellowish and brownish hues.


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