Envelope sizes, formats, materials, weights etc.

Description of Envelopes.

There are many things you need to specify about an envelope to identify a particular product. These include:

The last two items in this list are getting into the realms of packaging.

It is also important to note the packaging of envelopes. Many are packed in boxes of 1,000 (e.g. most DL) but larger sizes and heavier weights are commonly packed 500 or 250 per box.

Standard Commercial Envelope Sizes.

The most common sizes today are the 'C' sizes, plus the ubiquitous DL. All these are sized to take a few sheets of 'A' sized papers, folded or not. For example C5 envelopes take A5 paper unfolded but will take A4 folded once or A3 folded twice (to one-quarter of its original size). Many envelopes sizes are given just in inches or millimetres, and do not conform to any particular convention. You can usually find one which will do what you need. Bear in mind that when you put more than a couple of sheets of thin paper in an envelope you need to allow for the thickness of the contents in sizing the envelope - it will seem to get smaller as you stuff more in it!

If you are doing a mailshot, consider POCKET envelopes (which open along the shorter edge) with a window. Many people say that they are much easier to fill with papers than banker envelopes.

Bear in mind that paper is not a dimensionally stable material, it moves with changes in its water content. In addition, interpretations of the size standards may differ slightly from one manufacturer to another, so envelope sizes will always be approximate.

C0 917 x1297..*..36.10 x51.00
C1 648 x 917..*..25.50 x36.10
C2 458 x 648..*..18.00 x25.50
C3 324 x 458.....12.75 x18.00
C4 229 x 324..... 9.00 x12.75
C5 162 x 229..... 6.375x 9.00
C6 114 x 162..... 4.50 x 6.375
C7 81 x 114..... 3.25 x 4.50
C7/681 x 162..... 3.25 x 6.375
DL 110 x 220..... 4.33 x 8.66

* Note that these envelope sizes exceed the maximum size of envelopes posted via Royal Mail in the UK. The maximum size is 610mm x 460mm x 6mm thick. The thickness can be up to 460mm for parcels. The maximum length of rolled packages sent through the UK mail is 900mm. Source: "Handy Guide to Inland Services", The Post Office, 1998. For up-to-date information contact the Post Office.

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