Shrink Sleeves: The Basics

Jun. 17, 2020
shrink sleeves

With shrink sleeves becoming one of the fastest-growing products in flexible packaging, we want to share some of the basics on what they are and what they can do for your brand.

What Are Shrink Sleeves?

Shrink sleeves, also known as shrink sleeve labels, are made from PET-G or PVC and offer 360-degree coverage for your product. During application, heat or steam shrinks the sleeve to conform to the container or product it is being applied to without the need for adhesive. 

What Do I Need To Know?

As shrink sleeves are applied to conform to different-sized containers, the art for the product needs to be distorted. At Associated, we use specialized Distortion Management Technology to ensure that the art appears exactly how its envisioned, regardless of the container shape. 

Another thing to note is how shrink sleeves should be stored. Although shrink sleeves are made to be durable and scratch-resistant throughout the shipping journey, they need to be stored in a climate-controlled area to ensure that they remain intact. Due to their relationship with heat, it's recommended that they are stored in an environment between 40-80°F. At Associated, we store our shrink films at a cool 55°F!

Why Choose Shrink Sleeves?

Shrink sleeves have become an alternative to pressure-sensitive labels for premium foods, beverages, and other consumer products for many reasons. Where pressure-sensitive labels are more straightforward and can come in a range of materials and finishes, shrink sleeves are made from plastic and can cover the entire surface area of a container for impactful yet practical packaging. Some more benefits of shrink sleeves are:

  • Perforating the shrink sleeve enables quick removal of the sleeve once the product is finished, which allows end-users to recycle the container with ease.
  • Due to their durability, shrink sleeves can create a tamper-evident seal and waterproof barrier for containers.
  • With 360-degree coverage, shrink sleeves allow more room for brand information, design, and impactful marketing.
  • Shrink sleeves are flexible enough to conform to any shape and can even join several containers together for product groupings or bundle offers.


If you're interested in learning more about shrink sleeves and what they can do for your brand, reach out to us through our online contact form or request a quote here!