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Adhesive Labelling or Sleeve Labelling — Which One is For You?

Posted on 24 August 2022 by Thomas Glendinning

What is Adhesive Labelling?

Adhesive labels are considered a more traditional form of adhering labels to a product. They are typically made of paper, and the side that contains no information will have an adhesive on it. Adhesive labelling requires pressure to be applied so that the label can stick. These adhesives can be removable or permanent, depending on the manufacturer’s needs. Adhesive labels can be applied with a high-speed automatic machine which means the end results will be perfect every time. We have labelling machines available to label just about any product face in any orientation. 


The durability of these labels depends heavily on the surface they are applied to. Some factors to consider are the type of material the adhesive will be applied to, what type of adhesive you are using, the material of the label, and the condition of the surface the label will be placed on. Typically, these labels work best on glass or metal and are applied to flat smooth surfaces. 


Adhesive labels are generally considered to be cost-effective and quick. They do not require any extra heat, water, or solvent to adhere to the product surface. They are very straightforward in terms of printing and do not require any extra adjustments to be made to the artwork. 

If you are looking for a simple yet effective label for your products, adhesive labelling may be perfect for you. But if you think your products might require something different, sleeve labelling might be the answer. 

What is Sleeve Labelling?

A sleeve label is a pre-printed film that is slipped over a container and then held in place by either stretching or heating the label. This allows for a sleek, full coverage finish of your product. Sleeve labels do not use any adhesive, making them completely safe for food service. These labels are applied with a dedicated sleeve labelling machine which can automate the process guaranteeing 100% accuracy every time. There are 3 different types of machines when it comes to sleeving, and these depend on the end result of your product; these are, shrink sleeving machines, full body sleevers and heat shrink sleeving machines

Durability & Common Uses

Sleeve labels are generally considered more durable than adhesive labels. They can be used in moist and humid environments, including the shower and refrigerator, without fear of removal. Another interesting feature is that the design is printed on the reverse side of the film, making it resistant to heat, scratches, UV light, humidity, and chemicals. 

360° coverage

The biggest benefit of using sleeve labels is their 360° coverage on containers of any shape. The heat shrink labels will allow the sleeve to shrink into every nook and cranny of the products, meaning there is more room for brand visibility and marketing information. While the design has to be adjusted for distortions, making it less efficient than adhesive labelling, there is 150% more ‘labelling real estate.’ 

Sleeve labels are a great investment if you are looking to create a full coverage, sleek finish for all your products. 

If you are still unsure which labelling style is right for you, contact us via our website. We have machines that can service both labelling styles and experience helping clients find the right machine for their company!

Sovereign Labelling Machine

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Written by Thomas Glendinning

Managing Director of a business that is passionate about building top quality machinery for a range of industries- machines that are designed to meet the requirements of each particular business we serve & machines that exceed the expectations of those who purchase & operate them.

As an experienced Project & Mechanical Design Engineer, skilled in AutoCAD Mechanical, Solidworks, Engineering principles, Strategic Planning, and Project Management, with a Mechanical Engineering based qualification from University of South Wales, it is my privilege to lead SOVEREIGN, to align the strategic goals within the group of companies & continue to uphold & maintain a well-respected brand of machines across the UK, Ireland & across the globe.

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