What is Glassine?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Glassine is a paper product that is resistant to grease, air and water. A special manufacturing process is required to make this type of paper, and it can be expensive because a single sheet represents a great deal of work in a paper factory. There are many uses for glassine, ranging from archival protection to laboratory work. Various paper suppliers make and sell it in a range of colors.

Glassine may be used to protect fragile books.
Glassine may be used to protect fragile books.

How it is Made

To make glassine, paper pulp is beaten to break down the fibers. The pulp is pressed into molds and allowed to dry into sheets. The sheets are pressed through hot rollers in a process called calendering, which makes the fibers lie flat and in the same direction. Glassine is considered supercalendered paper, because it is subjected to the process multiple times. The end result is a very smooth product that can be used as barrier protection from many substances.

Glassine may be utilized in candy shops.
Glassine may be utilized in candy shops.


Basic glassine is almost transparent, with a neutral color. The color can be changed with the addition of dyes during the pulping process, and some companies also make opaque varieties using other additives. Many people prefer this product in its semi-transparent form, because it allows them to see what is lying underneath it.

Glassine may be utilized in bakeries.
Glassine may be utilized in bakeries.

Use in Bookbinding and Art

In bookbinding and art, glassine is a valuable tool because it can be made with a neutral potenz hydrogen (pH) level. Sheets of this paper can be used as interleaves to protect fragile books or artwork. This type of paper is often bound directly into a book to protect plates from scratches or used in archival restoration to protect the individual pages of a book from the elements. The paper used for this purpose is available in a range of sizes to meet varying needs.

Use in Laboratories

In laboratory settings, this type of paper is often used as weighing paper. Weighing paper is used when powders and other small solids are weighed, to ensure that the scale remains clean and no part of the solid escapes. Glassine is ideal for this purpose because it resists leaking and grease, and it helps prevents contamination. After weighing, the sheet can be gently folded and used as a funnel to put the substance that was weighed back into its receptacle. Weighing paper usually is meant to be disposable, so that cross contamination is avoided.

Use in Food Industry

Sheets of lightweight glassine are also often found in food service settings, such as candy stores and bakeries. A sheet of this paper prevents hand-to-food contact and keeps down the spread of grease. Boxes of disposable sheets for this purpose are available from restaurant supply houses.

Glassine is useful in art and bookbinding because it can be made with a neutral pH level.
Glassine is useful in art and bookbinding because it can be made with a neutral pH level.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


Dear anon10008, I live in Indonesia and work in the paper Mill which produces glassine paper.

Glassine paper was not meant for baking, it doesn't have heat resistance and it is easily burned. My suggestion is you use greaseproof slip easy 40 gsm, which we also produce.


Sir: We are using Glassine Paper 70-80 GSM for hologram lamination using a polyurethane adhesive.

Some times it so happens that the quality of the hologram suffers due to void specks on the hologram due to which the hologram visually is not of good quality. Is this due to Glassine paper surface quality (gloss surface giving good hologram quality) and lesser gloss papers giving poor visual effect to the hologram? Or is it due to the metallized polyester quality?

Your views on this will enable us to get good insight in improving our visual quality of our holograms.

Thanks and regards,


Holographic Security Marking Systems P Limited


I live in Japan and bought what I thought were paper cups for baking cupcakes and muffins. However, they are really glassine. Can I use them for baking?

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