History of labels
The oldest known labels come from a time around 1700. Imprinted paper material has been pressed on a surface that has been brushed with glue. These labels have not been replaced till the first half of the 19th century by the punched dry labels we know today.

The real success of self-adhesive labels began only in the 50th and 60th of the 19th century, caused by the rapid development of better and better synthetics and adhesives. The advantages of self-adhesive labels is that they allow a dry and clean handling which above all enables a very high processing speed.

Due to the co-operation of some companies that dealt with the production and application of labels, the international federation for the label industry FINAT (Fédération Internationale des Fabricants et Transformateurs sur Papiers et Autres Supports) was founded in 1958. In Germany the VskE (Verband der Hersteller selbstklebender Etiketten e.V.) represents the interests of the label industry since 1980.

The applications of self-adhesive labels are versatile. Therefore, the number of decision criteria for the selection of basic materials is accordingly large.

The surface features and structure of the material are decisive factors for the selection of the label material. Also environmental influences are playing a decisive role. Depending on the location in the interior or exterior area, conditions like extreme temperatures, solar radiation, atmospheric conditions, humidity etc. have to be taken into consideration. Other criteria are both mechanical requirements as well as resistance against chemicals.

Different industrial areas may have existing norms that already consider the above named features. The versatile requirements face a wide range of material components and combinations possibilities of different suppliers. To find out the most appropriate label material for a certain application, an adequate experience and detail knowledge of the exact characteristics of the different materials is absolutely essential.