Cellophane or True cellophane?



I use cellophane. By the mile!

It features in every workshop I teach, every demonstration I give and it is a wonderfully flexible wrapping material. It twinkles, catches the light and looks pretty……..what’s not to love?

A few years ago I was asked to deliver an eco-friendly gift wrapping workshop. I already use brown kraft paper and recyclable brown boxes so I started researching cellophane. It comes from the word ‘cellulose’ which is from plants and therefore organic and eco-friendly I hoped. Of course ,nothing so pretty is as simple as that! I found the information rather confusing and, in the end, just avoided using it altogether in that workshop.

Recently, I started thinking about it again and continued my research. I feel the eco message is growing (Bristol is hot on it!) especially in the craft world.

Here’s what I learned.

It seems the majority of ordinary cellophane (BOPP)comes in huge quantities from China, USA, Turkey and Italy. It has a low manufacturing cost and is essentially a plastic. It is actually biodegradable when exposed to heat or UV radiation from sunlight, eventually.

Now, let me introduce you to the new cello on the block!! TRUE cellophane (cellulose/ natural) is made from wood pulp and cotton. It’s 100% biodegradable and is more eco-friendly. Frankly, this is what I feel I should be striving to use.

I’ve been speaking with an incredibly helpful company called ‘Film Products Ltd.’ (No, not in the Brad Pitt way!!) I’ve been checking the prices and ,yes, it is a bit more expensive but all their woodpulp is from the UK. They have a great environmental policy statement which really reassures you they are a company with ‘heart’.

So, is there any difference when I use it in wrapping? I put it to the test.

1. The texture is a dream. It feels very slightly thicker which I love.

2.The colours seem to have a depth to them.

3.It’s breathable, which would be good if I was wrapping  eg.  plants.

4.It has an amazing ability to fold. When you fold ordinary BOPP cellophane it springs apart. When you fold true cellophane it has a dead fold characteristic. This also makes for neater wrapping.

5.It has to be said that BOPP cello has  more (plasticky) shine and true cello has what I would call subtle gloss.

Can I just say this?

If BOPP is lemonade then true cellophane is champagne!

I want to thank Film Products Ltd because without them I wouldn’t have understood the difference. They’ve been very patient with all my questions. They have a sister company called Orchid Krafts which I’m now interested in because of the brown kraft paper but that might be a whole new post.



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  • Reply Lesley Bailey July 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    It’s so good to talk to someone who understands the difference in these very different products. All have their own strengths and weaknesses but I absolutely love rolling the strong primary colours of real cello, its texture and sparkle – my partner in the business isn’t allowed to roll the purple cello (it’s mine!).

    It’s also good to be able to say that it is made in the UK, both in it’s manufacture and of course being converted and prepared for resale by yours truly…Film Products Ltd.

    It’s very much like the Hoover/vacuum cleaner thing – everyone calls everything cellophane!

    Thank you @giftfrippery for taking the time to learn a bit more about it and sharing it on your wonderful blog! I will keep reading with interest from now on!

    Lesley 🙂

    • Reply GiftFrippery July 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Lesley, it was a pleasure!

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