A Guide to Stretch Film


The concept of stretch film originated in the 1960s when companies started looking for alternatives to traditional packaging methods like strapping, taping, or shrink wrapping. The goal was to find a solution that provided secure containment, load stability, and cost efficiency. Stretch film has revolutionized the packaging industry. It offers an efficient and cost-effective method of securing and protecting goods during transportation and storage.

Stretch film is a stretchable plastic film used in packaging. It is also known as stretch wrap or pallet wrap. It is used to lock and secure boxes or cases on pallets for either storage or transportation purposes. It is made from linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) or other similar materials and is available in various thicknesses, widths, and lengths to accommodate different packaging needs.

How does Stretch Film work?

Stretch film is designed to stretch and conform tightly around objects, providing stability and protection. It has elastic properties that allow it to be stretched in one or two directions, depending on the type of film. When applied to a load or pallet, the film clings to itself due to its inherent tackiness, creating a secure and stable wrap.

Features of Stretch Film:

  • Stretchability:

    The stretch film has excellent elongation properties, allowing it to be stretched without breaking. This elasticity helps the film conform to different shapes and sizes of products.

  • Strength:

    The stretch film is durable and resistant to punctures and tears, providing added protection to the packaged items.

  • Transparency:

    Most stretch films are transparent, allowing easy identification and visibility of the products without the need for unwrapping.

  • UV Resistance:

    Some stretch films are designed with UV inhibitors to protect the packaged goods from sunlight exposure and potential damage.

  • Different Widths and Thicknesses:

    The stretch film is available in a range of widths and thicknesses, allowing users to choose the appropriate film based on their specific needs.

Benefits of Stretch Film:

  • Load Stability:

    Stretch film tightly wraps and secures products on pallets, preventing shifting, toppling, or damage during transportation or storage.

  • Protection:

    The film acts as a barrier, protecting the products from dust, moisture, dirt, and other external elements.

  • Cost-Effective:

    Lower material and labour cost, increased load consolidation and minimized product damage ensures the cost per unit is lower than other packaging methods, such as strapping or shrink wrapping.

  • Versatility:

    The stretch film is used by food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, logistics, and manufacturing for various applications.

  • Efficiency:

    Using stretch film and a stretch wrap machine can save time and labor compared to manual wrapping methods.

Do I need a particular stretch wrap machine?

The need for a stretch wrap machine depends on the volume and frequency of your packaging requirements. Stretch film can be applied manually. But usage of a stretch wrap machine for wrapping stretch film will increase the efficiency and consistency of the packaging process. Stretch wrap machines come in different types, such as manual, semi-automatic, and automatic, offering varying levels of automation and speed. You should consider your packaging needs and evaluate the benefits of using a machine for cost savings and productivity improvements.

What is Pre-Stretch Film?

Pre-stretch film is a type of stretch film that has already been stretched during the manufacturing process. The film is stretched until its breaking point and then, its wound into rolls. The pre-stretching process reduces the film’s thickness and increases its length, allowing it to have more yield per roll. Pre-stretch film requires less force to stretch during the application, making it easier to handle and offering potential cost savings.

How is shrink wrap different from Stretch Film?

Shrink wrap and stretch film are both used for packaging, but they have different characteristics and applications. The main differences are:

Stretch Film: Stretch film is elastic and can be stretched to conform tightly around products. It is primarily used to stabilize and secure pallet loads during transportation or storage. The stretch film does not require heat for application and does not shrink after wrapping.

Shrink Wrap: Shrink wrap is a plastic film that shrinks when heat is applied, tightly conforming to the shape of the product being wrapped. It provides a tight seal and is often used for individual items or grouped products. Shrink wrap requires heat from a heat gun or a heat tunnel to shrink and seal the package.

Are shrink wrap and stretch film recyclable?

Shrink wrap and stretch film are both recyclable, but the recycling process and availability of recycling facilities may vary depending on your location. It is essential to check with your local recycling centers or waste management authorities to understand the specific recycling guidelines in your area.


Stretch film is a versatile and cost-effective packaging solution that offers stability, protection, and efficiency. Its stretchability, strength, and transparency make it suitable for a wide range of industries and applications. Cyklop is the leading provider of packaging solutions like wrapping, coding, strapping, and taping. We manufacture stretch film and wrapper machine. Do get in touch with us to know more about our stretch film and wrapping machines.