Described herein are articles which are heat recoverable in involute fashion to an overlapping, generally cylindrical configuration and which are useful as wrap-around sleeves for wires, cables, cable splices and the like. Also described are articles initially heat recoverable to an elongate S-shaped configuration, which latter can be wrapped about an elongate substrate, the edge portions thereof interlocked, and heat recovered to form a protective closure. The articles of the invention comprise a molecularly oriented unitary polymeric layer which has been differentially annealed while restrained against dimensional change and cross-linked to provide an anisotropic gradient from a first to a second primary face of the layer through the thickness thereof. Subsequently, when the article is heated to recovery temperature, regions of high anisotropy adjacent one primary face of the layer shrink. Because of the annealing process, regions adjacent the opposite primary face of the layer tend to resist linear shrinkage, whereupon the article heat recovers in involute fashion to form a wrap-around sleeve.
This is a division of application Ser. No. 130,730, filed April 2, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,721.