Types of Stretch Film

There are many brands and configurations of stretch wrap film in the market today, as a matter of fact there are too many and its confusing to say the least.


Broken into two main categories of Hand Stretch Film and Machine Stretch Film depending on how the product is applied the rest of the variations are focused on gauge, manufacturing and application.

What is Hand Stretch FIlm?

Stretch film designed specifically to be applied manually is referred to as hand stretch film. It is also referred to as hand film, hand stretch wrap, hand wrap or manual pallet wrap. It is typically utilized in lower volume packaging operations. However the efficiency of manual stretch wrap packaging should be regularly re-evaluated against potential benefits of upgrading to a machine applied films.


Choosing the right stretch applicator will result in more efficient and cost effective packaging operations.

What is Machine Stretch Film?

Stretch film designed to be applied with a stretch wrap machine is referred as machine stretch film. It provides many advantages over hand film including: faster and more efficient packaging, reduced packaging material costs, safer application, more secure loads and more.

Common Machine Stretch Film Types

  • Blown Stretch Film

  • Cast Stretch Film

  • Pre-stretched Film

  • Specialty Stretch Film

The basics of the stretch wrap world are that the heavier your load and the farther it travels the more film you will require to secure it. With this in mind the process requires knowledge, experience and expertise to select the most cost effective solution for your shipping requirements.

What are Pre-stretched Films?

Pre-stretched film is film that has been stretched (or pre-stretched) during the manufacturing process and then rolled onto cores for customer sale.


Pre-stretch Film Benefits:

  • Safer and easier operator application

  • Less operator effort required to wrap pallet loads

  • Less waste to landfill

  • Reduced neck down eliminates revolutions and trips around the pallet

  • Lighter rolls reduce operator fatigue and staff loss time injuries

  • Pre-stretch films are recyclable

  • Pre-stretched film is strong, consistent and stable

What is Cast Stretch Film?

Cast Stretch Film, otherwise known as Cast Film or Cast Wrap, is manufactured using the cast extrusion process.


Typical Characteristics of Cast Stretch Films

  • Excellent Optics

  • Clear

  • Glossy

  • Superior Tear Resistance

  • Quiet Unwind

  • Consistent Cling

  • Consistent Film Thickness

What are Specialty Stretch Films?

Specialty stretch films are designed to answer very specific packaging needs that more general purpose stretch packaging products cannot accommodate. A small sample of some specialty stretch packaging films are below.

  • UVI Stretch Wrap

  • VCI Stretch Wrap

  • Roll Wrap Film

  • Wide Web Wrap

  • Pallet Wrap Netting

  • Tinted Stretch Film

  • Heavy Gauge Film

  • Bundling Film

  • Vented Pallet Wrap

  • Banding Film

  • Opaque Black Stretch

  • Wrap Anti-static Stretch Wrap

Crawford Guardian Stretch Film

Our Crawford Guardian hand film category was developed to offer the best stretch film choices and solutions targeted to our customer’s needs. Developed from the best stretch film technology available, these products are guaranteed to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations on each load, every time. Our Crawford Guardian brand films offer solutions for both hand and machine applications.