Label Substrates

Label Substrates

The substrate is the blank canvas for your label design.

Whether your labels are required to get wet, are for wine or high-end cosmetic or pharmaceutical products or a “no label look” is required, there’s a solution.

Standard Gloss Paper

Standard gloss paper is available in semi-gloss and high-gloss options. Semi-gloss is suitable for general labelling of food and beverage products. A gloss, matt or satin over-varnish is normally applied to prevent scuffing.

High-gloss is used for high-quality food and beverage labels and can also be used for pharmaceutical labels. A gloss or matt over-varnish is normally applied.

Neither paper is water-resistant, but an over-laminate can be applied to protect the label from moisture.

Gloss Wine Paper

Cast gloss is a clay-coated paper that’s predominantly used for wine labels. The material is not waterproof, but it possesses wet-strength properties so labels will withstand ice buckets and not disintegrate.

Clear Films

Clear films offer a “no label look” and are available in a number of options.

Gloss clear polypropylene is waterproof, making it ideal for beverage labels.

Clear polypropylene on a clear backing sheet is a relatively expensive material and is used mainly for high-end personal care and cosmetics products.

Gloss clear polyethylene is waterproof and is used mainly for the personal care and pharmaceutical market. It’s flexible and has properties which allow it to stretch, making it ideal for products which are squeezed.

White Films

Dairyfilm is a cavitated white polypropylene substrate that’s waterproof. It’s mainly used for FMCG and food labels, but has a tendency to be flimsy so isn’t suitable for large machine-applied labels. It has a slight pearlised look and is a less expensive alternative to gloss white polyprop.

Gloss white polypropylene is waterproof and is ideal for personal care, beverage and pharmaceutical labels.

Gloss white polyethylene is mainly for personal care and pharmaceutical labels. It’s ideal for products which are squeezed as it is flexible and has properties which allow it to stretch. It offers a “no label look” and is waterproof.

Metallised Films

Gloss metallised polypropylene is a waterproof substrate that’s mainly used on personal care products.


Thermal top is a top-coated direct thermal paper with good short-term resistance to oils, fat and alcohol. It’s mainly used for thermal transfer scale labels where variable information is required to be printed on each label.

Thermal economy is a thinner, less expensive alternative to thermal top. It can only be printed in simple spot colour and used for dry applications.

Metallised Paper

Gloss metallised paper is coated with metallised foil and is used to simulate foil and give a metallic effect to labels.

Matt foil paper is a vinyl coated with aluminium to give a dull effect. It’s water resistant and good for embossing, making it ideal for wine labels.

Semi-gloss Board

Semi-gloss board is a very rigid substrate that’s good for embossing, but care must be taken with machine application.


Used for promotional labels, this is a semi-gloss two layer material that can be printed on the top layer. Once the label has been applied, the top layer can be peeled off and applied elsewhere.