What is Crepe Paper?

What is Crepe Paper?

Crepe paper is paper that has a wrinkled surface that gives it qualities such as stretch, softness, and pliability. This is the opposite of how the paper industry typically describes “kraft, vellum or smooth paper”, which refers to a flatter, smoother paper. The fiber or pulp used as the base ingredients to make crepe or kraft paper can be exactly the same. The variance happens down the line in the paper making process by either calendering the kraft (pressing it between two heated rollers) to smooth it or creping (scraping) the sheet off a roll (using a blade to gather up the paper into a wrinkled surface).  

How did Crepe Paper get its name?

Crepe fabric, invented in the early 1800s, was a fabric which had a crimpled or crinkled texture through the use of embossing techniques. Naturally, crepe paper has a similar look and feel and borrowed its name from crepe fabric. The word “crepe” typically refers to things that are “wrinkled”. Even in the beauty industry, you’ll see wrinkle-reducing serums referred to as “crepe-erasing” or similar terms.

How is Crepe Paper made?

Crepe paper can be made “on-machine” (wet or dry using a blade) or “off machine” (using a blade or embossed). The way crepe paper is made depends mostly on the basis weight (heavyweight vs. lightweight) and the volumes handled by a particular manufacturer.

On-Machine Crepe Paper

On-Machine crepe paper refers to paper that is creped on a paper machine, in-line with other parts of the paper making process. This is a more efficient, cost-effective method for higher volume applications. Anything you can do in one process instead of two will cost less. The amount of stretch created depends on the machine, the basis weight, and whether it’s wet or dry.

  • Wet On-Machine crepe paper uses a blade earlier in the paper making process while there is still a lot of water in the paper. The blade scrapes the surface of the paper at an angle, creating back pressure and wrinkling the surface. It is then sent through dryers to dry it and roll it up. This is how we create our heavyweight crepe paper here at Ivex Specialty Paper.
  • Dry On-Machine crepe paper uses a blade that creates back pressure as well, but this process is performed after the paper is dried and before it is rolled up. This is the typical method used to make lightweight crepe like toilet paper and paper towels.  

Off-Machine Crepe Paper

Off-Machine crepe paper refers to paper that is done in separate process from the actual paper making. The paper is made into a roll and moved to either another line, building or entirely different company to perform the creping. This is typically the preferred method for lower volume applications. 

  • Off-machine  typically starts by wetting the paper and then running a blade over it. This is similar to on-machine wet creping, but done on a machine other than the original paper machine that the paper was formed on.
  • Embossed paper is not technically crepe paper, but is made to mimic it. It involves taking dry paper and running it through two large rolls that mash an imprint on the paper. This essentially damages the paper a bit in order to give it an artificial stretch.

Is crepe paper the same as tissue paper?

No, crepe paper and tissue paper are not the same. The term “tissue paper” can include many products made from either crepe or kraft. Products like toilet paper and paper towels are types of lightweight crepe paper that is made using an on-machine dry creping process.  

What is the difference between heavyweight and lightweight crepe paper?

When determining whether to call crepe paper “heavyweight” or “lightweight”, there is no industry standard definition, but the line is usually drawn around the 40# basis weight mark. Depending on the units used, you might hear this referred to as around 65 gsm (grams per square meter) or 3 pt (“point”). You can look up equivalent weights for your needed paper type on our Equivalent Weights Chart.

What products are made of heavyweight vs. lightweight crepe paper?

Here are some examples of different end use applications and industries utilizing heavyweight vs. lightweight crepe paper.

Heavyweight crepe paper products:

  • Bag Closure – a narrow strip of heavyweight crepe paper is sewn over the opening of a bag to seal it. The stretch in the crepe allows it to be sewn through where a non-crepe paper would tear. Example products include charcoal bags, dog food bags and more.
  • Filtering – filter paper is heavyweight crepe paper that filters liquids such as oil or grease. Crepeing creates more surface area, which can be beneficial in filter applications.  These papers could be used as part of a manufacturing process, in deep fryers in commercial kitchens and more.
  • Packaging – crepe’s flexibility is great for wrapping around odd-shaped products to provide cushion and a barrier. It’s often used for high-cost manufactured products such as auto parts. 

Lightweight crepe paper products:

  • Toilet paper – creping gives toilet paper its stretch and softness.
  • Paper towels – Like toilet paper, this is often multiple layers (i.e. 2-ply, 3-ply, etc.) of crepe paper. The creping process creates more surface area or bulk, thereby increasing absorbency.
  • Party streamers – this crepe paper is often so thin its transparent and gives that fun, crinkly look in bright colors. They’re great for party decorations.
  • Medical exam table paper – this is the paper you often find yourself sitting on at the doctor’s office.

How much does crepe paper cost?

Paper has so many variables that drive cost including the type of pulp used, basis weight, color, volume, coatings and more. If you’re interested in heavyweight crepe paper, feel free to contact us. If we don’t make it, we’ll help you find someone who does.

The New Paper Machine

The New Paper Machine

Since our new ownership took place back in February of 2020, we’ve been working hard on a big vision we can’t wait to share: a multi-year project that includes several game-changing updates to our paper machine.

The latest? A new Headbox in Summer 2021.

Ivex machine diagram

This upgrade will offer our customers more consistent conditions from roll to roll and side to side. And, with basis weight consistency throughout the roll, they can look forward to less variability throughout the entire converting process.

July 2021 Update:

The new headbox is officially in service and living up to our expectations. Take a look at this beauty below:

Stay tuned as we continue down the rest of our one-of-a-kind paper machine and keep you informed of the latest and greatest!

Happy Veterans Day 2020

Every year on November 11 the United States celebrates Veterans Day. It’s a day where we honor all of those (deceased or living) who have served our country – in war or peace. It is in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918, which represented the end of World War I. It was original known as Armistice Day.

At Ivex, we have the honor of having several veterans working with us every day. A few of them shared pictures with us (below) from their days in the service to celebrate Veterans Day 2020. 


U.S. Airforce / Airforce Reserves
E6 Technical Sgt.

Thank you for your service, Thad!

Find out more about Thad’s current role at IVEX here.


U.S. Airforce Sgt.

Thank you for your service, James!

Find out more about James’ current role at IVEX here.


United States Navy

Thank you for your service, Stan!

Find out more about Stan’s role at IVEX here.


U.S. Navy

Thank you for your service, Rick!

Ivex thanks all of the veterans in our work family, as well as our country, for their sacrifices. We honor you today and everyday. 

Creating a Give-Away that Showcases Your Company AND Builds Relationships

Customers love gifts and give-aways…especially ones that provide value to them. This usually involves giving away one of your products for free or a sampling of valuable information, creating a real “win-win” for you and your customers. But, what if you could make it a “win-win-win”? Two companies, both part of the larger New Indy Containerboard umbrella, accomplished this over the holidays by involving suppliers, “sister” companies and customers. 

At Carolina Container, the marketing team started a 4-month long process of designing a customer holiday gift box with brainstorming how to showcase what they do best: provide structural support to products. So, what better products than those of the companies they sell to and buy from? In addition, if they kept a simple, minimalistic design, it could be re-used far past the holiday season. The result was a mottle white kraft box filled with customers’ products, a letter including brand logos/info, and topped with a removable, red crepe paper bow

“Not only do people enjoy that unboxing experience you get with a sleek, minimal design, but it also showcases all the turnkey opportunities we have at the company. We involved teams of people around creative layout, structural design, digital printing, contract packaging and even the plain brown kraft box built around it for shipping,” says Michael Haselden at Carolina Container.

Carolina Container’s sister company, Ivex Specialty Paper, provided that heavyweight red crepe (116 gsm) used to make the holiday bow topping it all off. Meanwhile, the 107-year old paper mill was assembling a similar holiday gift that not only showcased capabilities, but also offered surprising positioning in unfamiliar markets like fine paper and bags.  

In 2017, Ivex’s innovative mill sent gift tags made of heavyweight, white crepe with foil-stamped holiday designs and sayings. Converters and printers, who would normally be customers of the mill, instead were showcased in the gift. In 2018, Ivex once again teamed up with a converter: this time to create heavyweight, crepe “wine” bags. Two 6.5”x19” pinch-sealed bags with “Merry-And-Bright” and “Happy New Year” themes were created from heavyweight (116 gsm) crepe paper. The green bag featured gold flexo printing, while the black bag showcased silver ink. Besides obvious design and branding value, the bags also provide a high level of cushioning to the wine, champagne and other holiday beverages they carry.

“It’s all about providing value to customers and our team has done it for over a century. There aren’t a lot of options for bags in colors other than brown/natural UNTIL NOW and you definitely won’t find our crepe texture anywhere else. It’s a gorgeous bag meant for discerning customers looking for something in between the basic brown bag and more expensive, elaborate packaging. And it’s sustainable to boot,” according to Bill Platt, General Manager at Ivex.

As you decide on your give-aways and this year’s holiday gifts, remember the relationships you have with your customers, suppliers and corporate “sister”/“cousin” companies. Think about what value everyone brings to the table and how you can help support one another. Take it from Carolina Container and Ivex Specialty Paper; showcasing each other’s work is never a bad place to start. 

About Carolina Container 

Carolina Container was founded in 1928 and has earned a reputation as a customer-focused manufacturer of quality corrugated products for the past 90 years. Carolina Container has a strong tradition as a leader in the corrugated industry after starting out as a corrugated box company that made shipping containers for the furniture and textile industry. Today, Carolina Container leads the industry in operational excellence with 10 plants and more than 700 dedicated employees in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. For more information, visit www.CarolinaContainer.com.

About Ivex Specialty Paper

Ivex Specialty Paper has manufactured heavyweight, machine crepe and specialty kraft papers in a variety of colors and coatings for over 100 years. The mill has been using 100% recycled paper as its main fiber source from the beginning, offering a truly sustainable option for customers in any industry. Ivex’s paper machine has a small footprint, allowing for low volume runs, custom orders and room for innovation. Ivex was first used in tape for bag closure and carpet seaming. Now, products are sold to a variety of industries for use in industrial, commercial and retail applications.  For more information, visit www.IvexSP.com

You Don’t Want 50,000 Tons of Paper…And That’s OK

Sometimes, less is more, right? In a world where it seems like big machines, large capacities and gigantic revenues rule it’s hard to imagine a place for small to medium-sized businesses. But, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies employing fewer than 500 people:

  • Account for 99.9% of all firms
  • Represent 97.6% of all exporting firms (32.9% of total known $ value)
  • Generate 3 out of 5 net new jobs 
  • Employ 47.8% of all private-sector employees
  • Tend to be homegrown, are bootstrappers and are all about family – nearly 1 in 5 firms are family-owned

In the paper industry it’s no different. Many companies do not need or want to buy the enormous amounts of paper necessary to do business with large corporations. We see this in our business every day – customers looking for high quality paper and willing to pay more per unit for less volume. Especially if the paper is purposefully made with their end-use in mind. There is a place for small businesses and the companies that serve them. So, the next time you need to order in “rolls”, “single-digit tons”, or fewer “truck-loads”, give us a call

Uh Oh…Plan A Didn’t Work and There’s No Back-Up Plan – Yikes!

What to do when your supplier falls through.

It’s a terrible feeling – the dread of not having a back-up plan.

  • What if my supplier falls through?
  • What if they figure out they have the upper hand and use it to charge me more?
  • What if my business isn’t big enough and they don’t need me anymore?

Not a bad idea to have a Plan B. And, guess what? Some mills, especially smaller ones with specialty capabilities, would love to be a secondary supplier.

The WIN-WIN:  A piece of business from you allows your new, reliable secondary supplier to diversify and build their business. Meanwhile, you forge a trusting relationship and have options when you need them.

Check out our products and see if Ivex Specialty Paper can help you build a safety net when you need it!




Freaks & Misfits: Forgotten Until Needed


Innovation is born out of the unordinary. New ways of thinking, out-of-the-box designs, unique approaches…everyone else thinks you’re crazy, until you change the world. The paper industry has been around for A LONG TIME. It’s easy to get set in ways and a little rusty. People are worried about cutting costs, meeting productivity goals and winning business. But, at the end of the day, what matters is whether you solve pains for your customers. Whether you guide them to the solutions that make life easier. When those needs are out of the ordinary, it can be hard to find a mill that can help. At Ivex Specialty Papers, we welcome the “freaks and the misfits”. These weird paper requests face hurdles like small order quantities, specialty colors, crepe and coatings…oh yeah and the customer needed it yesterday. 

Next time you are dreading calling mills for custom quotes or you can’t figure out who to go to for your non-commodity paper, do yourself a favor: call us. We are going to help you one way or another…and, at the very least, you’ll get a quick, needed break from the ordinary. 



2 Ways Ivex Will Improve Your Filter Business

New Indy Ivex Specialty Paper has seen double digit growth with our filter customers over the last few years. How? We are in touch with our customers’ needs and well aware of their pain points in the industry. And, better yet, our business is designed and groomed to give YOU solutions to those pressing issues.



Shorter Lead Times

Your supplier should meet your timeline for production, not define it. Let’s face it, a 12 week timeline isn’t going to cut it. Ivex is extremely nimble, even when delivering custom products. Our orders are accurate and timely so you can focus on moving on with the rest of your business.



Trust in Supplier

We’ve been around for a long time. Long enough to remember when business was done on a handshake and integrity meant everything. And, we still think it does today. Your customers are, just that, YOUR customers. It’s our job to help you develop those relationships through excellent products and service.



If shorter lead times and trust in your supplier are important to you, we encourage you to visit our Filter products page and reach out to find out more!



Up Your Paper Game with this One Addition

Studies have found that color increases brand recognition by up to 80% and 92.6% of customers say visual factors were the most important when purchasing products. Think of Home Depot’s recognizable orange, Coca-Cola’s thirst-worthy red or John Deere’s inimitable green. The point is, color matters. It matters to end users, consciously or not, so it should matter to your business.

Experts estimate that humans may be able to see as many as 10 million colors. But, when it comes to color in the paper world, there is often a lot to be desired. Availability of standard colors is lacking and custom options can be severely limited. Many customers are bored by natural or white bags and are looking for a way to up their color game. Custom colors can tie into branding goals and provide a truly unique option. To keep your costs down, you will want to look for a mill that provides a variety of standard colors and at low minimum order quantities.

While color alone narrows the field quite a bit in terms of vendors, the quality of the color matters as well. Imagine a bag where color has been printed or laid on the outside of the bag, but the inside is the usual white or natural color on the inside. The ability to offer color through and through is limited to the unique processes used at a specialty mill like Ivex Specialty Paper. Equipment like online color gauges and lab gauges keep color in check during production. And breadth of experience should not be overlooked as well. Knowledge of aspects like opacity (overtinting and dyeback), lightfastness, fluorescent whitening agents, furnish, additives, equipment conditions and residence time can make or break a project.

One of the latest trending “colors”, or lack of color if you will, is black. Food items like meat or grapes can really pop against a black background. With our specialty coatings and through-and-through black color, we offer high quality black kraft paper to meet a variety of needs. Black kraft is also proving to be popular in picture framing, light barrier purposes, wrapping paper and other arts and crafts applications. Request a sample to see whether our black paper alone, or combined with crepe and/or coating will serve as your unique solution.

Whether it’s one of the 10 million colors we can see or black to enhance the color of a product, we’d love to hear from you. Review our list below of some unique applications for color and answer the question: What are some of the common and not-so-common uses for color you have seen in the industry?

• Paper kits with several different colors for home projects like holiday scenes
• Specialty match colors for ribbons, arts/craft projects, and gift bag stuffing
• Green kraft for toy railroad boards
• Black medium for blackberry boxes
• Black kraft for cosmetic boxes
• Bleach and tan kraft for imitation wicker for fans, furniture, and accessories.
• Yellow kraft for outer ply of cement bags
• Custom red for sewing tape on bag for branding identification
• Custom colors for dog food brands
• Pink butcher paper

To stay up to date on our latest product offerings, exciting news and nuggets of wisdom, follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

6 Reasons Crepe is the New Kraft

Some sources on Wikipedia, date the invention of paper back as early as 2nd century BC in China. Over thousands of years, the process has been refined, improved and extended to include new processes, specialty grades, advanced coatings and more. While kraft dominates in many markets, we would like to shine a spotlight on some reasons we believe industrial crepe really is the new kraft!

1. It’s Flexible and Stretchable 

When it comes to packaging odd-shaped products, crepe is the clear winner. It can work around all sorts of shapes and materials and provides a much better stretch than kraft.

2. It’s Potential for Better Built-In Slide Angle 

While we cannot currently confirm or deny the claim that there is an inherently better slide angle in crepe than in kraft, it deserves investigation. Some folks in the industry predict that certain crepe grades could perform as high as a 45 degree slide angle. We are currently running trials for promising applications in non-skid applications. If you have interest in a natural, non-coated, anti-skid sheet, let us run a trial for you!

3. It’s SOOOO Soft Texture

The look of crepe lends itself well to a very organic aesthetic. Many clothing, crafting and even food companies that are in the organic/green/natural arena enjoy it as an alternative to kraft that contributes to their brand identity. Think sewable materials, tags for clothing, etc. Typically the first sheet customers pull from our sample folder is a crepe sheet.

4. It’s Insulating Properties

In addition to being a flexible solution in packaging, crepe also won’t transmit electrons, making it a great product for electrical insulation. The air gap from the wrinkles in the crepe eliminate direct contact with an electrically-charged product to protect it during transport. One of the more recent applications we have encountered is bushing paper.

5. It’s Nonallergenic 

Ok, so kraft is technically “nonallergenic” as well, but bear with us. A new trend in event flowers is to make them from paper, specifically crepe paper. The soft, delicate feel of the crepe can fool all of your guests into thinking you spent a small fortune at your local florist. In reality, you have a nonallergenic, less expensive paper version that is just as beautiful. And, BONUS, flowers like these by Lia Griffith won’t wilt or die.

6. It Has a Greater Surface Area for Bond

In applications where you need to carry more resin/adhesive without penetrating the pore structure of the sheet, crepe is the key. Next time you curl up to a good book, you can thank crepe for a better binding!

Even with all of these additional benefits over kraft, crepe still can be made from recyclable material, be produced in a wide range of colors and it’s printable! We encourage you to take stock of your products that are currently made using kraft and think outside of the box. Maybe our crepe could be a new solution that meets your functionality requirements, but adds one of these or other benefits as the cherry on top.

For more articles and information like this and about New Indy Ivex Specialty Paper, follow us on LinkedIn.