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What Are Folded Polythene Rolls, and Why Are They Used?

Folded polythene rolls come in many types – and are probably most widely known as centrefold sheeting. However, there are several types of multifold polythene sheets available which can expand in width many times over. Unlike single wound sheeting, folded polythene rolls have a couple of unique advantages, but even without any folds at all, polythene sheeting stands as one of the most versatile and practical solutions in the entire packaging industry.

In this case, the folds just add an element of efficiency to the process – be that in forming packaging, streamlining or in saving space. Let’s learn more about folded polythene and its uses in packaging and logistics.


A pallet loaded with folded polythene rolls, wrapped in polythene bags for protection


Understanding folded polythene

Folded polythene rolls are a folded form of polythene sheeting on a roll, that unfolds into a wide, continuous sheet with one or more creases along its length. The simplest form is centrefold sheeting, which is formed by cutting the “mother roll” of layflat tubing along its length – leaving two centrally folded sheets that can be opened like a book.

These “halves” can actually be cut at any specified width, and are wound onto a roll, ready-folded. In centrefold sheeting (or CFS for short), this central crease creates a convenient hinge – allowing the sheeting to be formed into other shapes more easily, such as on automated packaging lines where bags are formed on the fly, or in manual packaging where it takes one step out of the forming process for workers – saving time.

The integrated fold also removes a seal from one edge, improving tear resistance and overall packaging strength. But folded (especially multifold) polythene rolls have another benefit: space savings. On CFS, the usable width is effectively double the stored width, and on multifold polythene sheeting, can be much higher. This means that rolls take up significantly less space. This gives you exceptionally wide film on a narrower roll; perfect for space-conscious applications.

Packaging and logistics applications

Folded polythene roll is a useful packaging material, serving as a reliable wrapping material for a diverse range of products. But it’s also useful for wrapping pallets and creating bundles in logistics. By fully enveloping items, folded sheeting offers a protective barrier against the elements, for clean, secure transit and storage.

Irregular packaging and maximum adaptability

When packaging unusual items and working in niche industries, the flexibility of folded polythene allows for better wrapping around irregularly shaped items or bulk quantities than single wound sheeting. Regardless of size or form, folded polythene can be adapted to suit – much more handy than having a million different sizes of polythene bag in your supply!

But folded polythene finds itself used in so many sectors and spaces – from manufacturing units to logistics warehouses. Its adaptability makes it an essential packaging solution for protecting products of all types.

Benefits over single wound sheeting (SWS)

There is no “best” polythene sheeting, only the best polythene sheeting for the job. In some cases, folded sheeting offers distinct advantages over single wound sheeting – but for other applications, SWS is perfect.

For example, SWS is used widely in automated packaging – primarily in form, fill and seal machines. This automated process is well suited for high production volumes and substantial packaging operations, and while it does incur a large initial investment cost, it is by far the most efficient way to package products in commercial quantities.

While SWS is an ideal choice for industries relying on high speed, large scale packaging operations, folded polythene rolls step in as a more versatile solution for smaller or semi-automated packaging lines – where manual work is blended with machines. Workers who package variable products can also craft bags as they see fit, to match the items as they come in.

In scenarios where space is limited and the pace of packaging is crucial, folded polythene stands out for its efficiency, especially when dealing with fixed-width products.

Read more: Centrefold Sheeting Vs. Single Wound Sheeting

As an added bonus, folded polythene can be used as pallet wrap (as discussed above) and as a bundling material – making it more attractive to small to medium sized operations where there’s less automation. Its ease of use and adaptability to varying packaging needs make it a good choice for growing businesses that are still developing their packaging systems, but are looking to maximise efficiency and space-savings.

Folded polythene rolls

Order folded polythene rolls made to your exact specifications, from NPF Packaging – a UK polythene packaging manufacturer. Get a quote now, or call us on 01773 820415 to start your order.