Folding Carton Terminology

bending board

A term used to describe boxboard that when scored and folded will not break the outer fiber.


bending chipboard

The lowest priced boxboard used in manufacturing folding cartons, composed almost entirely of recycled fibers.



A folding carton that has been die-cut and creased but has yet to be folded and glued.



A generic term for the material used in fabricating folding cartons and set-up boxes, sometimes referred to as “board,” “paperboard,” or “folding boxboard.” (see paperboard)



A measurement term used to describe the thickness of paperboard. It is expressed in units of thousandths of an inch.  The caliper is written decimally but spoken as a measurement of  “point.” For example .024 would be referred to as “24 point”.



A container made from paperboard and abbreviated terminology for folding carton, folding boxes, folding paper boxes and folding paperboard boxes. Carton does not include the following type of boxes; set-up boxes, corrugated or shipping containers.


carrier board

Kraft board that is predominantly used for beverage carriers because of its ability to resist moisture. (see “wet strength”)



A lesser quality paperboard made of recycled fibers for use where strength and quality are not a priority.


clay-coated board

A type of high quality boxboard.  The top coating has been finished with very fine clay resulting in an excellent printing surface for high quality graphics.



The bend of a folding carton that is created by using a steal rule that is accepted into a counter or similar female pattern on the metal surface of a platen.



A wood or metal form that is used for cutting or stamping out carton blanks.


dust flaps

The unglued side flaps that extend and turn down into the carton upon closure to keep dust and other foreign particles out.



A flexible plastic material that is used to cover a window in a folding carton.



The closing tuck of a folding carton or mailer.


folding box

(See folding carton)


folding carton

A term referring to a box made from paperboard materials that is cut, creased, and glued into a variety of styles and sizes.



An adhesive applied to the glue flap during the finishing process of a folding carton.



The act of applying the glue during the finishing process of a folding carton.


glue flap

The flap on the end of a folding carton that is applied with glue and adhered to the opposite end to form the carton.



The direction of fibers in paperboard.  Grain is important in design of a folding carton to give the carton strength. 



A fluid or similar substance consisting of pigments, dyes, and other materials that is pressed into the paperboard to achieve a desired image.


ink receptivity

The level of penetration made during printing of ink on paperboard.



Paperboard made from virgin pulp that is unbleached and is light brown in color.  Bleached Kraft has a lighter brown color than natural kraft.



All preparation and machine set-up times needed before printing, cutting & creasing, windowing, and the gluing of a folding carton.  Typically makeready responsibilities include alignment and are necessary for producing high quality folding cartons.



A term describing corrugated material with small flute heights.  The flute is the wavy portion of corrugated material between the two sheets.  Micro-flute material can be used in making folding carton with slight modification to the machinery.  Using micro-flute material provides a more durable folding carton.



A sheet made from wood or recycle paper stock fibers made using a cylinder or fourdrinier machine that is thicker and more rigid than paper.



The combination of activities for preparing for the creating of a folding carton.


A trial run made during the printing process to determine the need for any corrections.


recycled material (fiber)

Reclaimed material from newspapers, boxboard cuttings, paper, and other recyclables which goes through re-pulping to become recycled paperboard.



A crease in a carton blank which can be folded without cracking or breaking the carton.


set-up box

A paperboard box that is delivered with a three dimensional shape and typically covered with printed paper.  (i.e. jewelry boxes)


sift proof

A carton that is designed and manufactured in such a way to keep contents from slipping out.


solid bleached sulfate

Often referred to as SBS.  A stiff grade of boxboard that is made from virgin sulfate pulp.




A term referring to the paperboard before being used in the production of a folding carton.


stock box

A carton that is produced in larger quantities in advance than broken down into smaller quantities for sale to retailers.



The removal process of the excess board created by windows, hangers, or the nesting of cartons during the die-cutting process.  This process can be performed by hand or by the machine.



Folding cartons come in a variety of styles.  Some of the most commons forms are; Reverse Tuck End, Straight Tuck End, Tuck Tab automatic Bottom, and many more.


tear strip

A perforated band that is die-cut into a carton blank to aid in the opening of a package after it has been filled and sealed.



A semi-circular cut made in a folding carton to help aid in opening the package or allowing contents to be poured out.


virgin material (fiber)

Fibers made from organic materials such as wood chips.


wet strength board

A treated paperboard, typically kraft, that is moisture resistant and use in beverage carriers and applications involving food.



A die-cut opening that is typically covered by transparent film in a folding carton blank that allows the contents of the packaging to be seen.

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