MyBinding Knowledge Base
What are the most common folds that I can produce with my paper folding machine?
If you are sitting in front of your paper folding machine with a stack of papers that need to be folded, chances are you are overwhelmed with the endless folding possibilities. While Martin Yale machines offer unlimited folding options, here is a guide to the seven most popular and effective folds:
Letter Fold: While the Letter Fold is sometimes difficult to accomplish by hand, Martin Yale machines are up to the task. We see this fold on a day to day basis as it is the most common way to fold a document into an envelope- two folds, three sections. Popular for mailings, the Letter Fold is also used for brochures, menus and invitations.
Z-Fold: With two folds and equal three sections, the Z-Fold is very similar to the Letter Fold. Instead of tucking the outer panels inwards, the outer panels are folded opposite directions. From the side view, the paper is in a “Z” shape, hence the name. This fold is designed for brochures, stand-up displays, menus or mailshots.
Half-Fold: Commonly referred to as “Hamburger Style” (as opposed to “Hot Dog Style), the Half-Fold is when a document is folded in half. This fold is usually seen in mailshots, company brochures, stand-up displays, greeting cards or menus.
Double-Fold: The title misleading, the Double-Fold actually folds a document three times, giving it four panels. The Double-Fold is used for brochures, menus or mailshots.
Gate Fold: Similar to the Letter Fold, the Gate Fold has two folds and three panels except in this fold, the center panel is the size of the other two panels combined. Folded inward, the outer panels cover the center panel. By covering the center, this gives the maker a place to reveal something when unfolded. The Gate Fold is perfect for advertising in a mailshot.
Special Z-Fold (Engineering Fold): Sharing a letter, the Special Z-Fold doesn’t have three equal panels like the Z-Fold. Instead, the Special Z-Fold has a projecting end that allows the document to be punched and filed in a folder. This fold is most commonly seen in technical fields.
Special Letter Fold (Church Fold): Used for creative mailshots and advertising purposes, the Special Letter Fold has two folds and three panels. Unlike the original Letter Fold, the Special Letter Fold’s nested panel is significantly narrower than the other two panels, giving it an envelope effect.
With an infinite amount of folds available, it is no coincidence that these seven folds are the most used- they are versatile, simple and timeless. Whether you are sending out mailers or making brochures, these folds get the job done.
< Over the years, a number of customers have asked me whether they can use twin loop wire with their plastic comb binding machine. These customers often don’t want to have to buy a brand new machine but like the look and feel of twin loop wire binding. However, the answer to their question isn’t as simple as it seems. You see, they actually do make twin loop wire that is designed to work with the plastic comb binding hole pattern. With that said, if you want to use these wires you are going to need a way to close the wires. What is Spiral-O Wire? Let me explain a little bit more…There is a product that we carry called Spiral-O Wire. This wire has 19 loops and is designed to work with the hole pattern from a plastic comb binding machine. Spiral-O Wire is sometimes called Wire Combs or Ibico Wire and was originally designed for use with some of the older Ibico binding machines. A number of the older Ibico plastic comb binding machines also included a twin loop wire closer on the front of them to allow users to use both plastic combs and wire. This 19 loop wire was designed for this purpose. What Equipment is Needed? As the Ibico brand has been phased out by GBC and all of the older Ibico plastic binding machines have been replaced with new models, they no longer have the twin loop wire closer on the front of them. This presents a problem in trying to use these spiral-o wires since you can’t use the wires without a way to close them. One of the only options left is to purchase a Twin Loop wire closer. However, since twin loop wire closers are not incredibly cheap this option usually only appeals to users who have larger electric plastic comb binding machines. Otherwise, it is often advisable to simply buy a low end 3:1 pitch twin loop wire binding machine (the supplies are cheaper). This being said, if you have one of the older Ibico binding machines that has a wire closer included you are in luck. The Spiral-O binding supplies that we carry will work perfectly with your machine and you will be able to use both plastic combs and wire depending on your needs. These Spiral-O binding supplies are available in Black, Silver, White, Blue and Red and in sizes up to 1″ in diameter. If you aren’t sure what type of wire binding supplies that you need to work with your machine simply give us a call. Our trained sales representatives will be glad to help you find the correct supplies for use with your machine.(Read More)