Paper Basics

Paper Names

Paper names are usually set by the manufacturer, hence, there might be different names for similar paper used by different companies.
However, there are commonly used names in the industry for paper with similar textures, such as art paper, snow paper and woodfree paper.

Paper Weights

Basis weight in paper refers to weight per square meter. People often mistaken paper weight as paper thickness.
It is two different terms used with different definitions, for example, a piece of paper with basis weight of 100g/1㎡ means that paper weighs 100 grams per 1 meter by 1 meter. Hence, paper thickness differs even though the basis weights are the same.
Paper thickness is, determined by the paper density. The greater the thickness of the paper, the denser it will be.

Paper Thickness

It refers to the height of one piece of paper, and it is measured using ㎛ (1/1000mm).
A thickness of 90μm means 0.09mm. For the same type of paper, the thickness is correlated to the basis weight.
The higher the basis weight, the thicker the paper is as the amount of pulp used to make the paper is greater.
This is a very important characteristic because the thickness of a book or magazine is determined by the thickness of the paper.

Paper Gloss

During the paper making process, the stage of coating paper surface, other than fiber, such as paint or synthetic resin onto the paper to produce a high-gloss finish that enhances printability is called supercalendering.
These gloss finishing are primarily used on art paper, snow paper and CCP paper which is typically used as covers.
Most of the uncoated papers, which have no glossy finish are used for prints such as newspapers, etc.

See Paper Options

Paper Grain

Paper can be divided into vertical and horizontal grain depending on which direction the fibers are arranged.
When manufacturing paper, the fibers are align according to the direction of the paper machine (machines that make paper continuously) to form the grain, this is called Machine Direction (MD), the vertical direction which cross the Machine Direction is called Cross Direction (CD), which results in a different grain.

For example, it is easy to fold according to the grain direction but not against it. Therefore, grain direction is an important consideration during printing or finishing process in order to select the appropriate paper for printing.