‘Winging’ refers to what happens when neck labels that apply and display well during packaging show variable degrees of “lifting” later — for instance, at the retail level. It’s one of those small details that can put a damper on an otherwise flawless performance: The wine is terrific, the bottle elegant, the label design eye-catching…

… and then the neck label starts peeling. Ugh.

Neck labels can lift for a variety of reasons, including less-than-ideal materials, environmental conditions, label design, inks, varnishes, application and bottle surface. When one or more adverse factors occur, the face stock’s “memory” may strengthen enough to cause a label to lift and return to its original, flat state. It wants to straighten itself

Wine Neck Label

out – and that means separation from your bottle.

Good news: The pros at Jet Label never wing it. Here are some tips to help your neck labels stay stuck.

 

Face Stock and Adhesive Materials

It’s best to use a permanent adhesive and the thinnest possible face stock. Material at or above 85gsm should be avoided.

 

Label Design

Embossing, embellishment, and foil stamping must be carefully considered. Heavy embellishment can reduce the adhesive bond area, and foil stamping can similarly stiffen the label, adding to its memory.

It’s also imperative to have considerable overlap of the neck label surface — anything above 2cm should assure an adequate bond.

When utilizing a neck label that also covers the cap, it’s important to find a good balance between the label’s surface contact with the glass and the cap — 50% on each is ideal.

 

Environment

Temperature conditions greatly influence neck label lifting. When temperatures are cold (5°C and below), the adhesive used can harden, negatively affecting its bond with the substrate. Conversely, in temperatures above 40°C, adhesive tends to soften and lose cohesive strength. High degrees of moisture or dust in filling areas present another issue: Called ‘wetting out,’ the adhesive bond area is prevented from flowing across the bottle’s surface, reducing its effectiveness.

Sometimes, it’s important to use certain types of film material to hide the folded cap’s thickness variation. A film stock with low stiffness is best, as polyethylene will perform better than polypropylene at the same thickness. Label dispensing also should be considered when selecting the face stock for neck label applications.

 

Inks and Varnishes

Often, inks and varnishes contain small amounts of silicone, typically for scuff resistance. However, since silicone also is often used as a release coating during pressure-sensitive label application, the issue here becomes too much of a good thing. Silicone is gritty, which can cause reduced adhesion at points of label overlap – because it’s at these points where silicone becomes doubly present.

To prevent this build-up, a non-varnished reverse glue-flap with a minimum 1.5cm unprinted and unvarnished area is best for optimal adhesion.

 

Application

Last but not least, effective wipe-down of the label is critical. Here, a rubber squeegee wiper backed with spring steel is markedly preferred to foam or brush wipers.