Fold Types for Paper Folding Machines

Fold Type



Common Uses


Tri Fold tri-fold
  • Letter Fold
  • C Fold
  • Mailing papers in standard white envelopes
  • Brochures
  • Invitation cards
  • Information pamphlets
Commonly known as letter fold or "C" fold – our most common paper folder application. The majority of the letters you get in the mail will be tri-folded.
Half Fold half-fold
  • Single Fold
  • Brochures
  • Greeting cards
  • Invitations
  • Wedding programs
Typically used for brochures or marketing material. It’s just taking a single piece of paper and folding it in half right in the middle. Very rarely used for mailings because the paper wouldn’t fit into an envelope.
Z Fold z-fold
  • Accordion Fold
  • Zig Zag Fold
  • Bills
  • Multi-page letters for mailing
  • Product catalogues
  • Invitations
Sometimes referred to as the accordion fold. Gets its name because the profile view of the paper which forms the letter Z. Most bills from utility companies will be Z folded because the margin for error on the fold locations are a little more forgiving.
Double Parallel Fold double-parallel
  • N/A
  • Customer reports
  • Transactional mailings
This fold is typically only used on larger paper (11 x 17) for marketing material. Although rarely when a company wants to fit 11" x 17" piece of paper into an envelope, this will probably be the fold they use.
Gate Fold gate-fold
  • Open Gate Fold
  • Brochure Fold
  • Book/magazine covers
  • Invitations
  • Brochures
This is used for very unique marketing material where the user wants the paper to open up like two doors. Almost never used in mailings.
Closed Gate Fold closed-gate-fold
  • N/A
  • Brochures
  • Closed documents
Another very rare fold that only shows up when running 11 x 17 paper or larger. Normally the user will apply a piece of tape to maintain the "box" look so it stands up on its own. Never used in mailings.
Cross Fold french-fold
  • French Fold
  • Greeting cards
  • Wedding Invitations
Sometimes called the French Fold. This is a complicated fold that requires a paper folder to run a single piece of paper two times. So the paper is folded in half, then in half again. When you open up the paper it produces four even squares. Some paper folders can do this reasonably well, some can’t. Please speak with a representative before purchasing a paper folder to run a cross fold.
Church Fold church-fold
  • Right Angle Fold
  • Brochures
  • Information pamphlets
Looks similar to a half fold, except that the very edge of one of the lips folds inward. Gets its name from churches who distribute bulletins at Sunday services – the small lip is normally the donation ticket. A patron rips off the ticket and gives it along with their money.
Engineering Fold engineering-fold
  • Short Z Fold
  • Fold Out Fold
  • Half Accordion Fold
  • Help organize brochure content
An obscure fold that looks like a Z fold, only with one of the panels being extremely large. Only ever used for marketing when you want to "hide" a small portion of the brochure.
Baronial Fold baronial-fold
  • Double Letter Fold
  • Cartography
  • Folding maps
Very complicated fold that not many paper folders are capable of doing. Almost exclusively used for cartography and folding maps.
Cross Letter Fold cross-letter-fold
  • Double Letter Fold
  • Brochures
This is a variation of the cross fold, except rather than folding in half twice, the second time it’s turned into a letter fold. It’s even tougher for a paper folder to perform this than it is the cross fold, so please speak with a representative before purchasing a folder for this application.