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A Handy Glossary of Paper Terms

 

Acid-free paper:
Paper manufactured in a neutral or slightly alkaline pH environment, usually buffered with calcium carbonate, to prevent the internal chemical deterioration of paper over time. Because of the absence of acid or acid-producing chemicals, the paper is more environmentally sound and is more stable over long periods of time.

 Archival paper:
Acid-free or neutral paper that will not deteriorate over time.

Bond :
Old term for paper used to print bonds, its qualities are strength, performance and durability. Cut-size and writing papers are often identified with the bond scale; may be cotton, chemical wood pulp, or both.

Brightness :
A papers degree of reflectivity measured in a narrow spectral range lab test.

Bristols :
Heavy-grade papers with better than average quality characteristics. Originally made in Bristol, England.

Caliper:
A measure of paper thickness expressed in units of a thousandth (1/1000th) of an inch

Carbonless Paper
Carbonless Paper can make a copy of a document without the use of any electronics.

Coated Papers :
Made with a surface coating for maximum smoothness and ink holdout in the printing process. Coated papers are available in a range of finishes from dull to matte and gloss.

Cockle finish:
A rough, uneven, hard paper finish. Most frequently manufactured in bond papers.

Deckle edge:
Refers to the feathered edge on paper produced when fibers flow against the deckle or edge of the web.

Felt finish:
Highly tactile and soft textured, felt finish papers are ideal for special techniques such as embossing and foil stamping.

Finish :
A papers surface characteristics like smoothness, appearance and gloss.

Grain Direction :
The direction in which most paper fibers lie; a factor to consider for achieving the best results in printing, folding and converting.

Laid Finish :
A linear pattern applied by a dandy roll while the paper is still very wet to mimic the look of hand-made paper.

Laser paper:
Manufactured in cut sizes, it is very smooth and low in moisture to prevent curling from the high heat in laser printers and copiers.

Linen Finish :
A woven-like textured effect produced by embossing a web of paper with a patterned steel roll.

Opacity :
A paper's ability to prevent light transmission through it. More opaque papers have less show-through.

Offset Paper:
Uncoated paper designed for use in offset lithography. Important properties include good internal bonding, high surface strength, dimensional stability, lack of curl, and freedom from foreign surface material.

Parchment:
To simulate the look of ancient parchment, which was made from animal skin, text and cover versions are made with a variegated surface, translucent colors and rigid feel. Parchment is often used for diplomas, certificates and contracts.

Postconsumer recycled fiber:
Fiber recovered for papermaking from postconsumer waste paper.

Postconsumer waste:
A material or product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal after passing through the hands of a final user. PCW is a part of the broader category “recycled material”.

Recycled Paper :
Papers containing postconsumer fiber can currently be called recycled. Federal Executive Order calls for a minimum for 30% postconsumer fiber for uncoated paper and 15% for coated.

Text and Cover Papers:
A class of high-quality uncoated papers in a wide variety of colors and textures. Text is usually made with a matching or coordinating cover.

Vellum Finish :
Natural or machine finish, such as antique or eggshell.

Watermark :
Historically used to convey a sense of quality, a slightly more translucent design impressed on paper by the raised pattern of the dandy roll during manufacture.

Wove Finish :
An uncoated paper with a smooth surface.

Writing Paper :
Designed for letterheads —suitable for pen and ink, pencil, laser printing, offset printing and copiers.









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