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Front of an envelope mailed in the U.S. in 1906, with a postage stamp and address
Back of the above envelope, showing an additional receiving office postmark

An envelope is a common packaging item, usually made of thin flat material. It is designed to contain a flat object, such as a letter or card.

Traditional envelopes are made from sheets of paper cut to one of three shapes: a rhombus, a short-arm cross, or a kite. These shapes allow for the creation of the envelope structure by folding the sheet sides around a central rectangular area. In this manner, a rectangle-faced enclosure is formed with an arrangement of four flaps on the reverse side.


Envelope sections
Intro   Overview   Sizes  Manufacture  Types of envelopes   See also    References   External links  

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