Guest Author - Vivienne Oestergaard
The mainstay for us papercrafters is THE paper. And in these times, you can get this most important ingredient quite inexpensively and easily. But have you seen all the many many forms and types there are? What do you use for what? The right paper will make your work easier and look better!
First, some facts on paper. In the U.S. paper is measured by weight, the ream, is 500 sheets of paper. 8.5 x 11 was the original size of the vat that made the paper. In Europe, paper is measured by weight of grams per square meter. Paper is sized via the ISO 216 sizing system, which is based on common width to height ratios. Sizes come in series of A or B and C being envelopes. A typical size is A4 or A5.
There are many types of paper used for home printing. They include matte, semi-matte, gloss, photograph, iron-on, and sticker (with an adhesie on the back side). These papers are made to go thru a home printer. General copy or printer paper, generally known as bond paper in that the paper was originally made for government bonds is versatile and can be used in many different applications.
This type of paper is one with sizing put into the paper. Sizing allows the color to stay on top of the paper and the water to sink down into the paper, thereby having clear colors and also with the color staying on top, you can further rework the colors with additional colors. This type of paper usually has a texture on the surface in order to create a sense of depth for the painting or drawing. This is available in several different weights.
There are 3 different types. Tracing paper is one which is translucent. It can be both expensive or inexpensive. This type of paper is good for sketching and drawing. Vellum is the more expensive of the two and used for drafting and engineering and now papercrafting. It has a very durable surface and is semi-transparent and reacts to moisture and skin oils.
Graphics papers are 100% cotton or rag bond papers. It is used for markers. It is not as translucent as the other two and very bright white.
This type of paper is made so that it does not scratch or wrinkle easily when you use pen and ink.
This is an off white or low white colored paper used specifically in the publishing of books. It is off white to allow for easier reading and is also very opaque so there is less show through from the text behind it.
This paper is a course, rough textured paper available in many colors. The original name was sugar paper in that it was used to make bags to hold sugar. Unfortunately, this type of paper does fade and disintegrate with time. Most major brands of construction paper is ACID-FREE and LIGNIN-FREE and so in this respect you can use in your scrapbooking.
This is a paper produced from softwood and is strong and course. It is usually brown but can be bleached to white. It is used for paperbags and envelopes and other packaging.
Or rag papers are made with 100% cotton fibers and is durable and strong. It is known to last for hundreds of years, therefore it is used for important and archival documents. Cotton paper is graded 25%, 50%, and 100%. You can see this in the watermark on the sheet. If you are using for archival, you should check on the acidity of the paper since cotton fibers may be acidic. Modern banknotes are made with cotton paper.
This is a type of paper made in Japan. Washi is made from fibers of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia papyrifera), the paper mulberry, bamboo, hemp, rice, or wheat. The name refers to the fact that it is handmade.
Any type of paper can be origami paper but it should be one that can hold a fold. It is lighter in weight than copy or bond paper, has white on one side and color on the other (or two different colors) and is typically perfectly square. Origami papers are sold in packs called Kami.
These papers are made with fibers from various parts of rice plants and can include hemp and mulberry. These papers are distinctive in texture and translucency.
This type of paper is made from the bark of the mulberry tree. It is usually expensive because of the traditional hand making of it.
This type of paper is heavier in weight than the normal bond but lighter than cardboard. It can have various textures and many colors and is perfect for scrapbooking. Cardstock is not a paper to use in home printing in large amounts, however as it soaks up too much of the ink.
Originally, parchment was made from animal skin. Modern parchment uses vegetable fibers and has resistance to grease as well as a translucency.