Why is my label curling up?

Having a label that keeps curling not is frustrating but also doesn’t give the best impression of your brand. There are several possibilities that can explain why your label is curling up, fortunately, most of them are relatively easy fixes.

  • Your label material may be too thick or stiff: If possible, avoid rigid label materials as they increase the likelihood of a label curling up since they’re harder to bend. Instead, use more flexible, lightweight label material and a high-performance adhesive can ensure that the label stays on the container. Another thing to consider is the label’s finish. Laminates add an extra layer of material to your label, increasing rigidity. UV coatings, on the other hand, act more like a varnish or coat of wax on a car and doesn’t affect overall flexibility. UV coatings can be added to give labels a gloss or matte finish.
  • Your container shape and size is tricky to label: For example, labeling containers with a small diameter can make it harder for the label to stick. Smaller diameter containers are common in cosmetics (lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeliners, eyeshadow pencils, and lip balms) as well as other cylindrical packaging and jars.  Try adding a slight edge overlap when designing your label. When the label material is able to stick to itself, it eliminates potential issues during application.
  • Label adhesive issues: This could mean that the adhesive has deteriorated or the right adhesive wasn’t selected for your specific needs. Adhesives can lose adhesion over time, especially when labels encounter friction, constant handling, moisture, chemical exposure, sunlight, etc. However, if your labels are new but the label adhesive isn’t sticking properly, it’s probably because of the container’s texture, shape, cleanliness, temperature, or material composition (plastic, glass, cardboard, metal, etc.). When ordering labels, let us know what type of container you’ll be labeling and the conditions it will face so we can select the right materials to prevent your label curling up.
  • Your label has square corners: Most custom labels are printed with round corners because the softened corner edge helps prevent the label from lifting up, which is called “flagging” in the label industry. Since round corners are more popular, they are more sizes to choose from. If you have a unique label size, you’re more likely to find a cutting die with round corners than square.

If you need any help with your labels, our dedicated customer service team would be happy to help. Call us at 1-800-475-2235 or email sales@consolidatedlabel.com to get started on your label project!