All of our soap-suitable films (75 gauge PVC and 60 and 75 gauge Polyolefin) are available in a standard format, or perforated, with a web of tiny pinholes running through the film.
We originally perforated our films for the benefit of our many goat’s milk soapmakers, whose bars need to “breathe”. Many of our other soapmakers prefer the perforated films because they allow the scent through immediately. When shrinking your bars down, the perforated films prevent trapped air from causing the package to pillow, which then requires you to either squeeze the air out of it, prick it with a pin, or use the heat gun to intentionally burn a tiny hole in the film through which the trapped air can escape.
Our most popular film is 75 gauge Polyolefin, perforated or not. Second to that is 60 gauge Polyolefin, both perforated and not. This is a thinner film, best used with drier bars. It is appropriate for single bars only and is not the first choice for multi-packs and gift sets. All the polyolefins, whether perforated or not, typically allow the scent of the soap to come through. Understandably, the perforated version will do so immediately upon wrapping, but given a day or so, the non-perforated polyolefins will also allow the scent through. Polyolefin has the feel of a plastic sandwich bag. It is soft and pliable and shrinks down crystal clear.
If you are selling indoors in a climate-controlled environment, you should not experience any issues using perforated film. However, as the perforations make it easier for the scent to come through, they also allow the outer environment in. If you are selling a glycerine bar, or any other humectant-based bar, the added exposure may hasten the drying out, or increase moisture, depending on whether the environment is dry or humid.
PVC is a petroleum based product which, non-perforated, typically does not allow the scent of your soap through. It is a shiny, glossy film, that’s also best for gift-wrapping, gift-baskets, etc.
Packaging with PVC looks more professional and PVC the easiest film of all to work with. Although PVC is the most attractive of all the films, it isn’t nearly as popular with our soapers as are our other films that allow the scent through.
Any of our films will wrap your bars well, but 60 gauge Soft Shrink Polyolefin will accommodate unusual shapes better than any other film can.
In conclusion, if you want the scent to come through, and your soap bars are dry to the touch, and you only want to wrap single bars, 60 gauge film is a good choice. It is easier to cut and seal, and faster to shrink.
If your bars are wet, or very tacky to the touch, or if you want to wrap multi-bar packages, gift sets, spa kits, etc., or if your bars are subject to a lot of stress from shipping, handling and transporting, then 75 gauge Polyolefin is the best choice.