Posts Tagged ‘Letter Fold’

What is a Letter Fold?

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Letter Folding MachineIf you are in the process of setting up a paper folding machine (found here), you may have noticed that there are several different types of folds available. These include the letter fold, accordion fold, half fold, double parallel fold, cross fold and many others. One of the most common types of folds is the letter fold. I would like to take a few minutes and help you understand what a letter fold is, why it is used and how to set your paper folding machine up to create it.

The letter fold is the most common type of paper fold, followed by the accordion fold (aka Z fold). The letter fold is often revered to as the C fold because when opened up it makes a letter C (when vied from the side). This is the fold that most businesses use for their invoices, letters, bills and other documents.

A standard letter folded documents consist of three equal panels. On an 8 ½” x 11″ sheet of paper, each of these panels are about 3 5/8″ in width (3.66″ to be precise). These panels can be adjusted if you wish to create an uneven letter fold, which is a type of custom fold. While these measurements are based on 8 ½” x 11″ paper, larger sheets of paper can also be letter folded.

Here is a picture of a letter folded document:

Letter Folded Paper

There are several reasons why the letter fold is so popular. Here are just a few:

  • Size – This size works very well with #10 envelopes, fitting in nicely and without too much effort on behalf of the worker or machine inserting the paper into the envelope.
  • Look – The even three-panel design of the letter fold looks very professional. It has been around for years and is very recognizable. This paper format is also easy to handle, open and use.

Almost all paper folding machines are able to create a letter fold using 8 ½” x 11″ letter-size paper. In fact, I can’t think of one that doesn’t. Some larger machines can even create a letter fold using larger 8 ½” x 14 Legal, 11″ x 17″ and 12″ x 18″. Check your paper folder’s manual to see which sizes of paper it can handle. If you are shopping for a machine, be sure to check the specifications to make sure the machine handles your paper.

When setting up a paper folding machine, the first plate (usually the longer folding plate) is set at about ¾” of the length of the document. On an 8 ½” x 11″ sheet of paper, is at about 7 3/8″. The second folding plate (usually the shorter of the two) is set about 1/3″ of the way up the page, which is usually around 3 ¾”. The letter fold is one of the most clearly marked and one of the most easy to set up on a folding machine.

Here are a few things to look out for when shopping for a machine that letter folds paper:

  • Paper Thickness – Most folding machines handle a standard 20# bond paper thickness. If you need to fold card stock or thicker paper, be sure your machine is capable of handling it.
  • Paper Type – About 80% of the folding machines out there use a friction feed system. This means they use some sort of rubber roller to grab the paper and pull it in. If your paper is slick, glossy or coated, you may need an air feed system as the friction rollers could potentially slip and jam.

If you need more information on letter folding machines, or simply need some questions answered, you are more than welcome to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

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