Paper Types Used for Custom Paper Tubes

As we all know, cardboard tube is spirally wound by multiple layers of paper. And it is an easy question for us if asked about the material of paper tubes. But if looking further into the types of paper, there is much more to say.

As a paper tube packaging manufacturer and supplier, today we will be going deep to explore the varying paper types used to produce paper tubes.

1. Paper Tube Styles

There are mainly three tube styles in the market: one-piece (single) paper tube, two-piece paper tube (telescopic) paper tube and three-piece (full telescopic) paper tube. No matter which tube style you may use, the tube consists of two parts: tube body and outer wrap (where art gets printed).

Depending on specific packaging needs, varying layers of paper are spirally wound and glued together to acquire different wall thickness, such as 1.5mm thick for single layer (wall thickness) in wine bottle tube packaging.

2. Paper Stock for Cardboard Tube Body

The paper used to form the tube body is mainly uncoated paper.

Uncoated paper is the kind of paper that has no additional coating or finish, which mainly includes cardboard (black / white), kraft paper (white / kraft), grey board.

And among them, the most common paper stock used to form cardboard tube body is black cardboard, white cardboard, brown kraft paper and grey board (low grade post-consumer recycled paper stock).

1) Black Cardboard

If the tube packaging is designed to be black on the whole, black cardboard is the best choice to create a solid matte black tube body.

black cardboard tubes

2) Brown Kraft Paper

When it comes to cosmetics and personal care product packaging like serum, essential oil, supplement pills packaging, brand owners may prefer the tube package to to be rustic so that it aligns with the organic and natural product image. In this case, kraft paper would be the best paper stock for the cardboard cylinder body.

brown kraft paper tubes

3) White Cardboard

In many other cases, if not specifically requested, most of the paper tube body are made of white cardboard. The white cardboard is much flexible to match all kinds of graphics and artwork designs, avoiding the overall tube packaging being weird-looking.

printed cardboard tubes

3. Outer Wrap

We are familiar with custom printed paper tubes. And many people may presume the art / graphics design is directly printed on the surface of the tubes. Actually it is not the case.

For every custom printed tubes, there is an extra piece of paper covering the tube surface, which is what we call outer wrap.

The brand artwork or graphics design will be printed on paper, which is done by professional printing factory. Also, the finishes like embossing and debossing, foil stamping and other coating will be processed on this printed paper.

After all the printing and coating is complete, this piece of printed paper will be wrapped around the plain tube body. And all the graphics design w/ desired finish is displayed to make the tubes printed-looking or special -looking.

fancy paper as outer wrap of paper tubes
Outer Wrap - Printed Paper w/ Art

4. Paper Used for Outer Wrap

As to the paper used for outer wrap, there is much more flexibility w/ a wide range of paper types to choose from: coated paper (art paper), uncoated paper (kraft paper, cardboard), specialty paper (similar to fancy paper) w/ special textures, colors, patterns. Each paper type will present a unique packaging style.

1) Coated Art Paper

Art paper features smooth paper surface, high whiteness, premium color rendition, quality printing effects, which is most widely used for printing leaflets, flyers, picture albums, magazines, periodicals, exquisite advertisements and high end product packaging. In most cases, lamination or AQ (aqueous coating) would be applied on the surface of art paper to protect the prints.

paper tubes with art paper as outer wraps
Printing on art paper w/ glossy lamination

2) Uncoated paper

Uncoated paper is not as glossy , smooth or bright on the whole, if compared to coated paper. It is matte, and more noble-looking, which presents a kind of modest luxury product and brand image. Usually two types of uncoated paper are used as outer wrap – kraft (either white or brown) and black cardboard.

paper tubes with uncoated paper as outer wraps
Black cardboard and brown kraft paper as outer wrap

3) Specialty Paper

Specialty paper, similar to fancy paper, features special textures, colors, patterns. By applying specialty paper, the packaging would be more distinctive and special. For lots of diploma tubes, leather-like specialty paper is extensively used. Looking and touching from outside, the surface of the tube is kind of leather-like touch and feel.

paper tubes with fancy paper as outer wraps

Above is the brief introduction to the paper used in paper tube packaging. Every paper type has its own pros and cons. Having some basic knowledge and idea on this part will help you to create the desired packaging that aligns with packaging budget, product image and brand positioning.

As a custom paper tube manufacturer, we supply a wide range of options of paper stock based on specific project and packaging needs.

If you are looking for bespoke cardboard tube packaging, please reach out to us for more details. Also, we have the portfolios to give you a rough picture of what the tubes should look like.