Thinking About Using Custom Washi Tape to Ship Products? Think Again

Washi scrapbooking tape

We almost feel guilty for saying anything bad about washi tape.

If you’re someone who’s into crafting, this Japanese paper tape has seemingly endless uses, allowing you to create all sorts of colorful designs.

It’s inexpensive, easy to find, versatile and flexible.

It’s also not a great option when you need a shipping or packaging tape. Here’s why.

Masking TapeFirst of all, washi tape shares many of the same properties as masking tape. And while masking tape has many useful applications, it’s not an effective tape for shipping.

That’s because masking tape is easy to remove once it sticks. Its adhesive isn’t as strong as other tapes meaning it can come undone.

Washi tape will work great if you need to label a moving box but won’t offer you a way to secure your products on their journey to your customers.

If not washi, then what?

We don’t want to simply say “Stay away from washi tape when shipping goods” and call it a day. Luckily, there are a few different tape options to choose from.

1. Paper tape

Paper Tape

This is an environmentally-friendly, water-activated tape that adheres neatly to boxes and contains fiberglass threads for an additional level of security.

Once paper tape is sealed, it creates a permanent bond. The only way to get it open is to rip it, similar to what you’d have to do with an envelope.

The only downside to using paper tape is that it comes out of a desktop tape machine. So instead of bringing your tape to your boxes, you’ll need to bring your boxes to your tape.

2. Polypropylene tape

Poly printed tapesThis is the most popular type of tape for packing and shipping, recognizable by the loud crackling noise it makes as it unpeels from the roll.

There are a few reasons why so many businesses choose to use polypropylene tape:

  • It’s usually priced lower than other tape varieties.
  • When you need printed tape, polypropylene provides greater detail, especially for projects with long print runs, thanks to its use of a polymer plate when printing.
  • Polypropylene is a thicker tape. The thickness of a tape is measured in mils, with one mil equaling one-thousandth of an inch. The thicker the tape, the more aggressive the adhesive. Polypropylene is typically in the 1.9 to 2.9 mil range, making it perfect for heavier packages.

Just remember that crackling noise we mentioned earlier if you work in a smaller office or someplace that values quiet.

3. PVC tape

PVC TapePVC (polyvinyl chloride) may not be as popular as its polypropylene cousin, but it’s still a highly-effective, versatile tape.

Aside from being quieter than polypropylene, it’s thicker and stronger. It’s easy to manage and much less likely to adhere to itself. And if that does happen, PVC will become unstuck easily.

And although PVC tape requires more pressure to stick, it still does so aggressively and adheres to a wider variety of surfaces than polypropylene.

No matter what type of tape you decide on for your packaging and shipping needs, Phoenix Tape can help. We work with the three tape varieties we described above, and can design top-quality, custom printed rolls that showcase your company’s messaging or logo while still keeping your packaging secure.

Contact us today to talk to our design team. We look forward to finding you a tape solution that works for your company’s packaging.