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.

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Moving Forward in our Peoria Mill

Over the last ten years, the Peoria Mill has taken many steps to improve the quality of the paper, improve the efficiency of the paper mill and widen the range of products for its customers.

On the quality side, the Mill installed a radial distribution header from Germany to level out the profile of the sheet. We rebuilt a dated press section with reconditioned equipment to improve the moisture variations across the paper web. A home-made calendar stack was replaced with a two roll calendar with a controlled crown roll enhanced with a computer configured loading system to produce a smooth sheet with caliper control. A dye distribution system was added that allows the Mill to produce its colored paper grades with a tighter color variance than ever before at the Mill.

In dealing with the improvement of efficiency in a Mill that is over 100 years old, new dryer cans were installed that replaced dryer cans dating back to the 1920’s. New paper machine drives were installed replacing technology dating back to the 1980’s. In conjunction with the local utility, the boiler combustion control system was overhauled replacing a linkage system that dates back to the 1960’s. In 2010, the control schemes of the paper machine that consisted of 1980’s technology and manual controls were replaced with a current technology computer controlled system that could be widen to include most of the control needs of the entire paper making process.

In order to widen its product base, the Mill added a chemical surface treatment system at its calendar stack for producing a particular grade of paper. The mill replaced a 1980’s winder with a winder with tension controls and spreading devices that will slit paper off the winder with a +/- tolerance of 1/16” width. Recently, the Mill added a duplex slitter capable of slitting widths down to 1” and producing rolls that separate automatically.

Through all of these changes, the Mill has maintained its strongest asset as is: its employees, who are seasoned and experienced with over 60% of its employees working at the Mill for over 20 years. This shows the heart that Ivex has and the dedication our employees thrive on!