Sunday, February 14

Mystery (Partially) Solved

The astute reader may recall how proud I was of constructing these accordion-sided envelopes for distribution, how I'd labeled them with these address labels from Red Horseshoe, and how one fell off of the envelope in the mail, so the letter was lost but the post office delivered the address label (bereft of envelope and missive) to the intended destination.

Sounds silly, doesn't it? The post office's behavior? "Sorry about your letter, it's gone and trashed, but we thought you would value this address label."

But how does an address label fall off of an envelope? The paper of the envelope I chose is stout and porous, any adhesive should hold to it. Except the Red Horseshoe adhesive does not: with a liberal soaking, it can't get up enough gumminess to adhere to anything, though a sticky paste is formed so it's clear that this is the intent. I finally did get the label to hold to the envelope by gluing it down with glue stick, and when the label fell off I was afraid the cheap-ass glue stick had failed. The astute reader will recall my rejoicing at having found an "extra strength" glue stick.

It wasn't the glue stick at all. It was the address label.

I dug out the other envelopes I made and tried to pry off the address label, expecting to find a dry, crusty bed of failed glue stick. Instead, the paper address label lifted clean away to reveal a plastic backing, as though the address label were a sticker to be peeled off of its backing and affixed to an envelope! There were no instructions with this book of address labels (they're bound together on one side and you tear them off as you use them), and the process seemed fairly intuitive. I mean, the apparent back did have an adhesive on it that responded to moisture. But I was entirely unaware of this plastic backing to the label until ten minutes ago!

The back of the address label is slightly sticky, so it sticks slightly to the plastic backing but not to the paper of the envelope. Even if it was intended that you peel off the backing and apply it to the envelope, it would just fall off anyway! Does it need to be further moistened and adhered to the envelope, or do you peel it away from the plastic backing in order to have a clean surface for yet more glue sticking? I'm trying to find the pad of Red Horseshoe address labels so I can determine whether they are supposed to be stickers you peel off and use, but I can't find the pad anywhere so I may have thrown it away in a huff.

Oh, and mind: the plastic backing also flakes uselessly away from the front of the envelope. There is no part of this address label that is prepared to stick to the envelope, in summary. I love the retro restorative look to Red Horseshoe's products, but I'd much rather they work properly. (Note: I can't find these address labels anywhere on their Web site. I'm guessing they called it a wash.)

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