Adhesive Solutions to Label Papers Winging

Are you having issues with your label paper either winging or not adhering to bottles and considering a change in the paper? It may be worth reviewing the glue you’re using before committing to a change.

In this blog, we’ll understand what makes label papers different, and test the effectiveness of a variety of the top water-based adhesives on a range of the most popular label papers to determine which glue works best with which label paper. The idea being that you can simply find your label paper from our testing and see clearly which adhesive will work best for you.


Overall, our test results show a very good adhesion and a lack of winging quite consistently across the label papers and adhesives. Here are a few key points:

  • LabelLock 821L gave a consistently effective or superior performance across all label papers for every test.
  • On glass, LabelLock 821L is among our recommendations for every paper type.
  • On PET, LabelLock 795 is our top recommendation for every paper type.

What are the Differences Between Label Paper Types?

Label papers come in lots of different shapes and sizes, all with different properties that affect the characteristics of the paper when applied to bottles. These differences require different qualities from adhesives to overcome some of the challenges they present. Here are the key differences between each label paper type:


Label grain direction influences winging of labels when applied to bottles. The grain direction must run East to West across the width of the label. If it is converted with a North to South grain direction, this will result the edges of the label pulling up from the container and can make label application impossible.

When the adhesive is applied to the unprinted side of the label, the moisture will absorb into the label causing the fibres to expand and the label curls up.  Equally to aid in application of the label, it is important to store the labels ideally 18-23°Cand 45-55%rH, as this ensures stability in the label substrate prior to application. It is just as important that the adhesive is at the correct operational temperature for optimum performance prior to use.


Weight of label paper used will also impact winging/performance. Higher weight/bulky label papers can absorb more of the adhesive and the rate of absorption is linked to the type of paper used, higher weight papers will also be more likely to retain their original profile when applied.

The weight of the paper used needs consideration, so if the label is applied to a tight circumference, such as the neck of a bottle, then a lower weight would be preferable.



There are various grades of label paper available in the market such as Metallised paper and General label papers. These can be both coated and uncoated and aligned with label paper grades such as wet strength, bottle quality or standard can. This makes the choice of paper important when considering the application required, for example ice bucket requirements or when the bottle may be returnable.

The rate of absorption along with transmission of moisture into and through the label also impacts the drying time and therefore the time to achieve fibre tear. As well as this, it should also be noted that the print finish of the label (UV, Conventional, Emulsion), along with the conditions at labelling such as the fill temperature, wet containers, and line speed all play a part in the label application process.

 The table below shows the label papers and adhesives we tested:

The Label Papers

The Adhesives

1.     Metalvac from Lecta paper mill

LabelLock 70810F – Synthetic labelling grade with long open time to prevent label damage and good wet tack.

2.     Supercote from Mitsubishi paper mill

LabelLock 821L – Starch based labelling grade good for hot glass labelling.

3.     Select Label Paper

LabelLock 70801H – Tax strip grade with capability to give adhesion to difficult surfaces.

4.     Niklakett PET from Lecta paper mill

LabelLock 795 – Resin synthetic labelling grade good for PET / HDPE applications.

5.     N Brilliance from Lecta paper mill

LabelLock 726X – Labelling grade based on acrylates good for adhering to glass.

6.     Linnen Embossed Label Paper

LabelLock 700 – Labelling grade based on PVA good for adhering to glass.

7.     Eti Gloss from Mosaico paper mill

LabelLock 70322 – Synthetic labelling grade with a fast set speed good for a variety of applications.

8.     Eti Bulk from Mosaico paper mill

LabelLock 712T – Hybrid labelling grade developed for glass bottles with good wet tack.

9.     Niklakett Classic Forte from Lecta paper mill

Henkel/Aquence XP190 – Labelling grade for adhering to glass with suitability for a variety of label types.

    The Tests

    We tested each label paper for the level of winging seen as well as the quality of the adhesion provided with each glue, on both glass and PET substrates. As we want to give the most accurate account as possible, we tested them with some glues from our own range against a common competitor in Henkel’s XP 190 labelling grade.

    Adhesion Test


    To test the adhesion quality, we mimic the process of applying a label in a factory in our laboratory to make sure that the results are replicated when moved into a factory environment.

    1. We draw down the adhesive onto a glass plate using a 10µ coating bar and apply the label to it, mimicking the label being applied onto a pallet in a factory.
    2. We then remove the label and apply it to a bottle to mimic the bottle application.
    3. After waiting for the adhesive to set, we place the bottles in the fridge for 24 hours to test the adhesive performance at fridge temperatures. We then pull the label to test the adhesion strength.



      Winging Test


      To test the level of winging, we really put the labels through their paces. We create an environment where if the label is ever going to wing, this is the situation it would happen in. So, if it doesn’t show any sign of winging in our test, we are confident that it will not wing on a bottle in a factory.

      1. Labels are more likely to wing if more glue is applied as they soak up more of the glue and swell, causing winging. So, rather than applying the glue to a glass plate and then reapplying to a bottle (which may mean glue is lost in the process), we simply apply the adhesive straight to the bottle.
      2. We then apply the label to the bottle as it would in a factory.
      3. After this, we flip the bottle upside down and let gravity try and tempt the labels into winging. If the label survives this without winging, we are confident it won’t wing in a factory.


      The Results

      We’ve detailed the results by the label paper type below with our recommendations of which adhesive to use, followed by tables of all the results at the bottom.

      Label Paper





      Metalvac from Lecta paper mill

      LabelLock 70801H,

      LabelLock 821L

      LabelLock 70801H,

      LabelLock 795

      Supercote from Mitsubishi paper mill

      LabelLock 821L,

      LabelLock 70810F

      LabelLock 795

      Select Label Paper

      LabelLock 821L, LabelLock 70810F, LabelLock 700

      LabelLock 795

      Niklakett PET from Lecta paper mill

      LabelLock 821L, LabelLock 70810F, LabelLock 700

      LabelLock 795

      N Brilliance from Lecta paper mill

      LabelLock 821L, LabelLock 70810F, LabelLock 700

      LabelLock 70801H,

      LabelLock 795

      Linnen Embossed Label Paper

      LabelLock 821L

      LabelLock 795

      Eti Gloss from Mosaico paper mill

      LabelLock 821L, LabelLock 70810F, LabelLock 700

      LabelLock 70801H,

      LabelLock 795

      Eti Bulk from Mosaico paper mill

      LabelLock 821L, LabelLock 70810F, LabelLock 700

      LabelLock 795

      Niklakett Classic Forte from Lecta paper mill

      LabelLock 821L, LabelLock 70810F, LabelLock 700

      LabelLock 70801H,

      LabelLock 795

      PET Winging Test Results

      Glass Winging Test Results

      PET Adhesion Test Results

      Glass Adhesion Test Results

       Hopefully these results have provided you with some answers and potential adhesives that may perform better with your label paper. If there are any other papers or adhesives that you may be using that we haven’t tested, feel free to get in touch with us at or book a chat with us using the form below and we’ll be more than happy to talk through some options with you.