Types of Paper
The full list of all paper types in existence is as long as a piece of string and it is hard to fit them all into categories, as there are many specialist papers. Below is just a small list of categories and types that the most commonly found papers fit into. The paper you want is most likely to already exist, even the strangest you could imagine. View all the different examples of types of paper that is on offer.
Bond paper comes from what used to be used in the banks as paper for government bonds. It is a high quality, durable paper that can sometimes contain cotton. Often used for letters and writing.
Wood free paper
Wood free paper is somewhat misleading in its title, as it isn’t really wood free. However it is considered ‘wood free’ as it is made from a chemical pulp rather than a mechanical pump. The lack of lignin in its structure means that it is not considered to be made from wood, even though the chemical pulp is made from pulpwood. The removal of the lignins, the inflammable part of the wood, during a chemical process means that it is not susceptible to yellowing over time in the same way that conventional paper does.
Wove paper is a plain paper with a smooth finish. A wove paper is usually not identified as such, because it has no finish or texture to speak of. Most paper that is currently used in your printer is likely to be a wove paper, and though non-descript, is one of the most overlooked, in fact 99% of the world’s paper is wove, and is probably the paper you’ve never heard of.
Munken paper is a high quality uncoated fine paper, produced by Arctic Paper. Named after its origin, Munkedal, Sweden and the Monks who settled there and gave their name to the paper mill and the district. The Munken range has been developed to suit a range of needs, such as the Munken Pure or Polar, which are part of the design grades, or the Premium White and Premium Cream which are exclusive wood free papers for their Book Paper range. The Munken papers are high quality, environmentally friendly paper that is FSC and PEFC certified. To see more about Munken paper visit www.ArcticPaper.com
Recycled paper can come from many sources, but is mainly recycled from waste paper. The former NAPM (National association of paper merchants) defined how recycled paper should be categorised. According to their classification, recycled paper has to contain at least 50%, 75% or 100% recycled content which can come from one of five sources and not from mill broke, Virgin Wood Fibre or Virgin Non-wood Fibre.
- Converters Waste: Waste leftover from a cutting or slitting operation and has left the mill.
- Printers Waste: Unprinted or printed, waste collected from printing operations such as guillotine, cutting or reject waste.
- Domestic/Office Waste: Unprinted or printed, waste collected from domestic and office locations.
- Newsstand Returns
- Other – Industrial waste
Any combination of these sources can contribute to the 50%, 75% or 100% recycled content. As more and more of the paper becomes recycled the fibres become shorter, and so in order to produce ‘high quality’ paper, it is unfortunately hard to achieve with 100% recycled content.
Recycled paper can adapt to look and feel many different ways, fortunately it doesn’t have to be brown to be recycled, it can have a subtle attractive grain or even be completely plain, come in many colours and in a variety of weights.
Parchment paper is similar to Laid paper in that it is best suited for formal correspondence and crafts, such as wedding and birthday invitations. It usually comes in a dark cream or golden colour with a variation rather than a smooth overall colour, giving a similar look to a classic century old paper. In the US Parchment paper is referred to as the same as baking paper or greaseproof paper in the UK.
Card is essentially a heavy paper. Paper usually exists up to 170gsm over which it then becomes card. Card is often used for the obvious, greetings cards and packaging. In notebooks it can be used as indexing and as end papers, and also as cover material. Card can come in many colours and is available in most finishes.
Cotton paper is also known as rag paper, and is a paper used for its high durability and archival qualities, lasting for hundreds of years. Different grades of cotton paper are available, usually graded at increments of 25% up to 100%. US Dollars is printed on rag paper, mostly because of its ability to remain in tact if accidentally put in a washing machine.
Cartridge / Artists paper
Sketch or drawing paper is often a type of cartridge paper, a heavy weight and textured paper in order for artists to achieve depth in their work and to allow for repeated erasing without damaging the paper. The name Cartridge paper originates from its use as paper cartridges for firearms, but is now used as sketch or drawing paper of around 100-200gsm. Watercolour paper is usually a much heavier, around 300gsm, made up either partially or entirely of cotton, to aid the absorption of the water to avoid distortion of the paints and to give texture.
Paper for newspapers is the cheapest paper that can withstand printing, made from ground wood pulp, with a short lifespan, appropriate for its purpose.
Laid paper is paper that has visible vertical and horizontal lines that were impressed by wire cylinders onto the paper during the manufacturing process. Its texture gives an appearance of weight and age, and is akin to a hand crafted paper. This is best when used for formal letterheads or to give a luxurious, superior feel to your product.
Transparent or tracing paper was developed for architects to use to create exact copies of drawings using the diazo process. It takes a special process of removing the material that obstructs the passing of light through the paper. Often elements are added to retain printing ability and opacity, but for tracing paper these need to be removed. Tracing paper can come in a variety of opacities, depending on your needs. It can be directly printed on and used in the same way as opaque paper.
End papers sit at the front and back of your notebook or book, and effectively encase the bookblock. This paper can be plain white or any other paper of your choice. The end papers are an opportunity to represent the identity of the notebook through design, illustration or the use of a more interesting paper stock. Usually using paper over 110gsm, they are stuck to the inside of the cover with adhesive and secure the bookblock to the case, providing strength and visual stimulus.
There are many special papers that can’t be categorised so easily, and that fulfill specialised requests. An example is stone paper, which is polymer based and so resist tearing and are waterproof. From glow in the dark to hand printed, if you can think of it, it’s likely to be out there.
Most paper from the above examples is FSC certified. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organisation established in 1993 for the protection and management of the world’s forests. The identification of an FSC product allows consumers of wood, paper and other forest products to know that it is sourced from well managed forests and/or recycled materials.
The FSC ‘tick-tree’ logo is the key to recognising a certified FSC product. For more information about FSC visit their website www.fsc-uk.org.