Why Chipboard Is Irreplaceable: 10 Uses for This Great Product

It’s impossible to overstate the ubiquity and usefulness of chipboard in our daily lives. From furniture to picture frames, chipboard (or “cardboard”) is the Swiss Army Knife of paper products. It’s so versatile. These paper products are so indispensable that we barely think about them – like air. We couldn’t live without air, yet we don’t really acknowledge its existence. In our homes and industries, chipboard’s quiet contribution supports our daily lives.

The Origin of Cardboard

The Chinese invented the precursor of today’s chipboard. Three or four thousand years ago, the Han Dynasty used sheets of treated mulberry tree bark to wrap and preserve foods. Paper was also invented during the Han Dynasty (maybe even around the same time). Paper, printing, and cardboard made its way West along the Silk Road. The first mention of cardboard occurred in the 17th century (although it was probably in use long before then). In the 17th century, a printing manual by Theodore Low De Vinne and Joseph Mixon stated:

“Scabbord is an old spelling of scabbard or scale-board, which was once a thin strip or scale of sawed wood…The scabbards mentioned in printers’ grammars of the last century were of cardboard or millboard.”

First Patent

The first documented instance of a cardboard box being used was in 1817 for a German board game called “The Game of Besieging.” Board games wouldn’t be what they are without cardboard, and their rise in popularity shows just how easily transportable this paper product is. It wasn’t until 1871 that the first patent was granted to Albert Jones for “improvement in paper for packing.”

The patent reads:
“The object of this invention is to provide means for securely packing vials and bottles with a single thickness of the packing material between the surface of the article packed; and it consists in paper, card-board, or other suitable material, which is corrugated, crimped, or bossed, so as to present an elastic surface… a protection to the vial, and more effective to prevent breaking than many thicknesses of the same material would be if in a smooth state like ordinary packing-paper.”

10 Uses for Chipboard

These examples remind us that chipboard has (in some cases literally) “got our back.”

Picture frames: Chipboard is used to:
– support the pictures inside the backs of frames
– help keep frames standing upright
– mail photographs or other items that might be folded or creased
– as matting around art

It’s ability to be cut to any size or shape gives chipboard the flexibility required to help us make our pictures and art come alive.

Picture books: Many picture books wouldn’t exist without chipboard: No Goodnight Moon; Very Hungry Caterpillar; or Runaway Bunny for children. The world and toddlers everywhere would be much sadder without the existence of chipboard for large “board books” they enjoy (and cannot easily damage the pages, as they would with regular paper pages).

Backs of paper pads: Writing paper and note paper pads would be less pleasant to use if they didn’t have awesome chipboard support. They would just be limp piles of paper, impossible to write on unless flat on a surface.

Furniture: Not only can you actually make furniture from cardboard, some furniture companies use chipboard (cut to size) as part of the furniture under the upholstery. A certain beloved Swedish furniture store wouldn’t be in business without it.

Books: Bookbinders take advantage of the customizable attributes of chipboard for hard cover books, and it’s used for three-ring binders, portfolio covers, clipboards, notebooks, and many other stationery products.

Box o’ Chocolate: Companies selling goodies like chocolates use chipboard for their beautiful boxes full of sweets. How would school children bring their teachers the always popular chocolate selections every year if it weren’t for chipboard?

Box o’ …Anything: Other boxes that can be custom cut and then wrapped in materials (such as fabric, vinyl, or leather) are made from chipboard. From little blue boxes with jewelry, to bigger leathery boxes full of cigars, life’s little enjoyments often come in chipboard boxes.

Puzzles: Where would rainy days and weekends at the cottage be without jigsaw puzzles? Chipboard makes sure these simple pleasures a part of our lives. Chipboard is so versatile it can even be cut to make 3-D puzzles, adding a whole other dimension to this enduring pastime.

Packaging material: Although not designed for entertainment, packaging materials made from chipboard are incredibly useful. Custom-cut or die-cut pieces of any thickness can be made for all types of packaging, protecting your shipments and ensuring your products arrive intact.

Technology/electronic items, cosmetics, light bulbs, and food items (such as cookies, frozen foods, etc.) all are protected by chipboard. How would phones look if they weren’t packed in perfectly designed protective packaging?

Signage: During election season, the cardboard sign is everywhere. However, after voting day has passed, other signs are abundant, giving us valuable information. Sure, other materials like wood or plastic make a decent sign, but for cost-effectiveness and customizability, chipboard is “the sign of the times.”

You can see how chipboard (also called “pressboard” and “cardboard”) has come a long way since mulberry tree bark was used some 4,000 years ago. It is used for so much more than Albert Jones envisioned in 1871. It’s versatile, useful, recyclable, and provides cats and kids with hours of entertainment.

100% Recycled and Recyclable

The chipboard sold by Hammond Paper Company is made from consumer and commercial paper waste. It is collected, sorted, and turned into a pulp at the mill. It’s then pressed and bound together as it goes through several rollers with an adhesive to make a stiff and solid board at the end. This chipboard is 100% recycled (and recyclable) and comes in varying calipers that can then be turned into the items listed above — and more.

For custom paperboard products in Toronto and throughout Canada, contact Hammond Paper Company at 1-877-750-CHIP (2447) or email sales@hammondpaper.com.