‘Cause I’m Tree, Tree Free

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Have you ever noticed how most great things have their own theme songs? Just take Mighty Mouse, Captain Planet, Batman and Underdog, for example. I’d say they certainly deserve it… wouldn’t you agree?

Tree graphic with a red crossed out circle So, why not let some of our exceptional labels share in the glory? Our Archival, Lignin-Free, Wood-Free, and Acid-Free Labels are pretty extraordinary. We make them that way because we understand that libraries, museums, historical collections, etc. all have very special labeling needs. What about scrapbooking and other projects such as decals for your cars, school clubs, equipment, etc? You don’t want the labels, stickers or decals you affix to your valuables to deteriorate and/or turn yellow over time, do you? When you have precious belongings like photographs, artwork, old documents, or fragile textiles, you want to be sure they won’t be ruined when you label them! That’s why we offer a selection of archival label materials for your broad range of interests!

So, what does Lignin-Free, Wood-Free, and Acid-Free even mean??

Well, we’re glad you asked…

To begin, most people want inexpensive paper labels for these types of storage applications. To make any paper, wood chips and certain plant fibers are converted into pulp. Those wood and plant materials contain water, cellulose fibers, lignin and something called hemicelluloses which is a type of polymer.

Lignin is a chemical compound that helps conduct water in plants and trees and without lignin, trees wouldn’t be able to grow much taller than 6 or 7 feet.  Lignin provides trees with the strength they need to grow tall and strong. Incredible, isn’t it? Durable, highly lignified pulp is commonly used to make newsprint but the lignin actually causes the paper to turn yellow when it gets exposed to heat and starts to break down. Before any high-quality white (bleached) paper can be made, lignin needs to be removed from the pulp. Hence, the term―Lignin-Free.

Now, you might be wondering what are Wood-Free Labels? Is there something besides lignin taken out? Paper is made from pulp, but did you know there are two different types of pulp? Here’s where the ‘wood-free’ comes into play…Most paper is made with “mechanical pulp” since it is less expensive to produce, but that type of pulp still contains most of its wood components (like lignin!) and tends to produce weaker paper.

Instead of using mechanical pulp, wood-free paper is made with “chemical pulp”. It really isn’t as scary as it sounds, we promise! Let us explain… Chemical pulp often isn’t even considered to be wood because most of its lignin has been removed. (It’s all starting to come together and make sense now, right? Great!) Wood-free paper made with chemical pulp isn’t as prone to yellowing. You may, in fact, find people using the terms “Lignin-Free” and “Wood-Free” interchangeably. Woo-Hoo!

What you may not realize is that there are now also manufacturing methods to utilize the fibers of cotton, wheat, sugar cane, bananas, hemp, etc (as well as waste materials in the clothing industry) to make Tree-Free aka Wood-Free Synthetic Papers. These newer processes often result in superior quality papers, while at the same time saving our forests, eliminating the need for dangerous pollutants, and requiring less energy consumption.

Last-but-not-least… Acid-free Labels!  Like lignin, acid needs to be removed from wood pulp because it makes paper fragile and brittle. To make a paper “Archival-Quality” and suitable for important documents preserved for long periods, the pulp is usually treated, or buffered, with a mild alkaline base to counterbalance the acids found in the pulp. With the pulp cleaned and washed, the transformation can be completed to make dazzling acid-free paper! Storing acid-free, lignin-free labels in a cool, dry place helps to extend their life and you will find that most document repositories also use humidity controls.

When you consider the fact that acid-free papers are recyclable and have a life expectancy of 500-1000 years and that fewer corrosive chemicals are used to make them, they definitely fit the category of “environmentally-friendly” products.

Lignin-Free, Wood-Free and Acid-Free are starting to sound pretty marvelous to you right now, aren’t they? We think so too… That’s why we have our own special collection… of labels that is! You can choose from a variety of labels best suited for your applications―whether it’s for books, insect collections, photographs, textiles, or historical documents, we can help.

Our line of Museum and Library Labels offers a diverse selection of lignin-free, wood-free, acid-free labels with a variety of adhesives to fit specific application requirements. We even can provide some archival plastic film products if you find you want something more durable. That’s not all… if you don’t see exactly what you need right off the bat, don’t be shy! We would love to work with you and figure out a solution to help you!

Now, because our labels do so much, we felt they deserved a little more than a quick jingle like those aforementioned Super Heroes get, so we wrote up a whole tune!  All this talk about Lignin-Free, Acid-Free, and Wood-Free got a classic hit stuck in our heads. You may have heard it before… it’s a tune by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers called “Free Fallin’”… enjoy!

EIM knows, you have special
Label needs and requirements too
We understand, and want to help you

Libraries and Museums too

Care is taken to preserve your books
Those artifacts and articles too

And I’m a label, environmentally-friendly

And I’m a label for Archival Science

And I’m free, Lignin-free
Yeah I’m free, Acid-free

All the labels being printed right here
Will not lose their traceability
And all of us labels will take care to preserve
All the items found in your collection

Now I’m free, Lignin-free
And I’m free, Ground-Wood-free

Conservin’, now I’m free, Lignin-free
Archivin’, now I’m free, Acid-free

I wanna show my semi-gloss paper
I wanna show you what I can do
I resist tears, water, oil and grease
Gonna resist that weather too

Now I’m free, Lignin-free
Yeah I’m free, Acid-free

And I’m free, Ground-Wood-free, oh
Yeah I’m free, Ground-Wood-free