Warehousing

Warehousing was a big deal — manual handling, racking, storage of paper.  For our purposes we’ll start small so let’s start with wrapping parcels.

  • The very first thing is the size of the parcel
  • The next most important thing to know is the size of wrapping paper. I have rolls of wrapping paper in 12, 18, 24 and 36 inches wide. All on tear off rolls. I wanted a 48 inch wide roll, but that was impractical as we never had the room. A 30 inch wide roll would have been very useful.
  • You have to know the size of every parcel, so for this explanation we will use the size of a standard ream of 500 sheets of 8.5 x 11 inch paper. This is 2 x 8.5 x 11 inches in size.
  • The first most important measure to know is the cumfrance of the package. That comes to 21 inches. And you will need an extra 2 inches or thereabouts for overlap. So, this would indicate that the 24 inch roll with a three inch overlap will do just fine.
  • The next length you need to know is the width and must decide here what kind of a fold one wants on the end of the package. The most economical is when the ends of the package are on the end and not folded over onto the top of the parcel.
  • Once that is decided one has to measure the width (so to speak) of the paper and this is done by allowing a small overlap for the end. About half an inch is just fine. That indicates that 11 inchs plus two inches, plus an inch for a total of 14 inches of paper torn off the 24 inch roll.
  • You will definitely need a good flat work table to wrap this parcel on. Lay the wrapping paper down and position the paper to be wrapped on the wrapping paper, being very careful to centre from left to right top to bottom. Also the paper to be wrapped must square to the wrapping paper.
  • Draw up the loose end closest to you and carefully crease the edge using thumb and forefinger to give a nice sharp crease.
  • Then while holding this first edge down with one hand, draw the far edge of paper towards you. It is supposed to meet in the middle of the package. If it does not, stop and start over gain by moving the paper to be wrapped one way or the other.
  • Once proper position has been obtained and nice sharp creases have been obtained, tape the edge with water activated brown Kraft package sealing tape. Rub the tape down several times to ensure a good and proper seal.
  • Next item is to fold in the ends of the package. I always start on the right. I use both hands and fold ends in simultaneously. I fold the two inch portion in making as tight a fold and folding in as much as possible. Again make as tight a crease as possible.
  • I forgot to mention that one should pull the wrapping paper as tight as possible, without tearing it. This applies for all folds on the package. Furthermore, I always run my finger and thumb down each fold so as to give as tight and sharp a crease as possible.
  • Once the end (2 inch) part is folded, then one folds down the top first, then pull up the bottom, again all the while creasing and pulling as hard as the wraping paper will allow. The put a piece of sealing tape on the end to hold the seam closed. Once more rub the tape down several times to ensure proper adhesion. The carton sealing tape should not be any longer than 8 inches as other wise the tape will run over on to the other side of the package. But wait; I have explained this poorly. I do hope you understand.
  • Turn parcel 180 degrees and repeat procedure for the other end of the parcel.
  • If you have done this correctly, you should have a very tightly and neatly wrapped parcel.

Further Notes from Phil

A bit more explanation here. Don’t be surprised if you can’t do this. Or if your parcel is all crooked and out of square. On my first attempts it took me about ten tries, before I got anywhere near nice looking.

Some people are natural ‘artisteests’ and others are professional stumble bums and can’t do anything like this. Still others will comment that all of this is a load of crapolla and ask why anyone would be so freakishly fussy. It’s up to you.

All I can say is that I am always asked to do all the wrapping at home and for the neighbors at Christmas and gift giving time of year.

I have a very few high end customers who come to me because I am a craftsman and actually pay me more (than it would cost at other shops) to do what I do, because, they like what I do and how it looks. There is a thing called ‘merchandising’ and that is really important to some people.

On the other hand, we once did a big expensive order for a national charity and I did a bang up job of packaging. I delivered the job personally and was soundly bawled out by the purchasing agent for spending too much on packaging. I was stupid enough to point out that it was a tendered and contract price and that the packaging cost him nothing, but he simply would not listen.

The next year that job went to a competitor of mine and he delivered that job loose in used beer cartons. The purchasing agent was delighted and phoned me to come over and see what ‘real printer does’. I was able to keep my mouth closed, but it dam near killed me to remain silent.

There are several more ways to wrap a parcel, but that is enough for now.

Phil Ambrosi