Articus Studio

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Paper But Were Afraid to Ask

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This is a glossary of terms to enlighten and increase your knowledge of paper.

Accordion fold~method of folding paper that resembles the bellows of an accrdion.
Acid-free~ Paper with a neutral pH (between 6 & 8) which helps increase paper longevity.  Fillers such as calcioum carbonate help neutralize the acidity of paper.
Antique finish~ subtle, "toothy" tactile finish of paper typically used in book and cover papers.
Archival~ designation for acid-free paper with a minimum of 2% calcium carbonate to help minimize deterioration over time.  Also refererred to as buffered paper.
Bark~ what a dog does--ha ha, a textured paper finish created by embossing.
Basis weight ~ the weight in pounds per ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the standard size, generally a folio size, for that classification of paper.
Brightness~measurement of the amount of light a paper reflects.
Bristol Board~ stiff, heavyweight paper often made in thickness of 0.006" or more.
Buffered~description used for products capable of maintaining the core of a solution.  Buffered papers prevent acide from transferring from a photograph to paper.
Color-fastness~ Dyed paper's ability to maintain its color when exposed to light, heat and other elements.
Cover stock~ heavyweight paper used for pamphlets, scrapbooking, report & brochure covers as well as printed business cards.  Also known as cardstock.
Crepe embossment~textured paper finish similar to that of handmade paper.
De-acidification spray~ neutralizes acid in newsprint, certificates & other documents.
Deckle edge~unfinished paper edge created when fibers flow against the deckle or edge of the web.  Double-deckle paper has parallel deckle edges.
Duplex~paper with different colord sheets that are laminated or duplexed back-to-back.
Embossed finish~raised or depressed paper texture imparted by an embossing machine.
Engraving~Intaglio printing process in which ink is applied to the paper from metal-etched plates under extreme pressure.  A raised printed surface results.  Used for letterheads, invitations and other formal occasions.
Felt finish~finish applied to paper at the wet end of the paper machine by using distinctly woven felts.
Finish~physical appearance and texture of a paper's surface.
Foil~material covered on one side with a metallic coloring for use in foil stamping.
Folding endurance~paper test measuring the number of back and forth folds a sheet of paper can endure before tearing.
Four-color process~method of using the four basic ink colors (yellow, magenta, cyan and black) to reproduce full-color photographs and imagery.
Free-sheet~lignin free paper made using a kraft process for greater paper longevity than groundwood paper containing lignin.
French fold~printed sheet folded vertically and horizontally to produce a four-page piece.  Also a single sheet folded in half and bound on the open edge.
Gatefold~four-page piece with foldouts opening on either side of the center spread.
Gild~to decorate a book's page edges with gold or other metallic leaf.
Grade~classification defining a paper's brigtness, finish, cotton content and other features.
Gravure~ Intaglio printing process in which the image area is etched below the printing plate surface and transferred directly to paper using pressure.
Handmade finish~ rough finish simulating hand-made paper.
Handmade Paper~paper made by hand, usually rough and uneven in textures with flowers or leaves added to enhance the natural look.
High finish~A smooth, hard finish applied to paper by calendaring or another process.
Imitation parchment~paper made with irregular fiber distribution to simulate antique parchment.
Ink absorption~ the degree to which ink will penetrate paper.
Intensity~ classification of strength, degree or amount of ink.
Kraft paper~ high-pulp, brown paper commonly used for grocery bags, wrapping paper and varieties of envelopes.  Also known as free-sheet paper.
Laid finish~ Finish imparted by a dandy roll featuring wires parallel to its axis that impress the paper during manufacture to produce a permanent, cross-hatch patterned watermark.
Laser copmpatible~ Papers with special properties to ensure consistent performance with laser equipment.
Letterpress Printing~method of printing that employs type or design cast or engraved in relief (raised) on a variety of surfaces including metal, rubber and wood.  This type of printing requires aplying ink to the raised printing surface so that non-printing areas are recessed. Also known as relief typographic printing.
Levelness~evenness of fiber distribution in paper.
Lightfastness~ degree to which paper or a printed pieces resists a color change when exposed to light.
Lignin~the natural element that binds together the cells of a tree; removed from paper in the kraft process.
Linen finish paper~ paper embossed to create a surface similar to linen cloth.
Low bulk~ smooth-surface paper thinner than papers of the same weight.
Monochromatic color scheme~ using different values of the same color as complements of the other corresponding colors.
Mottled finish~ inferior paper finish with glossy and dull areas across the printed sheet.
Mulberry~popular variety of craft paper known for its distinctive texture.
Neutral pH~a minimum value that increases paper stability and permanence.  Papers witha pH of 6.0 to 8.0 on a scale of 0 to 14.0 are neutral.
Onionskin~lightweight, cockle finish paper traditionally used for copying corespondence.
Opacity~ visibility of print through one side of a sheet to the other.  The higher the opacity the less likely that the printing on one side will show through to the other side.
Orange peel~ coated or printed paper surface with the feel of an orange peel.
Parchment~rigid paper with a surface that simulates the look of ancient parchment which was made from animal skins.
Point (PT.)~ measurement of paper thickness
Pre-embossed papers~ paper manufactured with a raised design.
Printability~ description of a sheet's ability to perform during the printing process including its ink receptivity, uniformity, smoothness, compressibility and opacity.
Pulpwood~logs and shorter lengths of wood suitable to become pulp for makinig paper.
Rag paper~ paper made from cotton cuttings and linters.  (Cotton fiber paper)
Recovered paper~scrap paper collected for recycling.
Recycled~term for paper manufactured, at least in part, from recovered fibers.
Reverse~the background of a paper is completely printed but the design area remains unprinted.
Rigidity~ paper's stiffness and bend resistance.
Show-through~ undesirable condition in which print on the reverse side of a sheet is visible under normal lighting conditions.
Smooth finish~ paper finish made very flat and even by passing through a variety of rollers.
Smoothness~sheet flatness that generally determines crispness of an image printed on it.
Showcrest paper~ textured paper finish with subtle eggshell-like bumps.  Commonly used by scrapbookers.
Stock~paper or board designed for a particular use that awaits printing or converting.  Also wet pulp in any stage of manufacture or pulp that has been processed to a state where dilution is the final step necessary for it to be made into paper or board.
Surface texture~ roughness or smoothness of a paper's surface.
Tag paper~ durable, heavyweight paper used to print retail product tags, labels, report covers and other heavy items.
Tearing strength~ paper's ability to resist tearing when subjected to manufacturing, printing and binding production demands.

Tensile strength~ability of a paper to withstand the stresses and strains associated with its end use.  The maximum force (in pounds per inch) necessary to break a paper strip of a certain width under lab conditions.  Measured in both with-grain as well as cross-grain directions.
Text paper~ term applied to grades of printnig paper used for printed booklets, programs, announcements and other select applications.
Tooth~ what is in your mouth..ha ha.  Slang term used to describe paper texture.
Translucent paper~paper that permits information to be seen through without being completely transparent.
Unbleached~ light brown paper that has not been whitened by bleaching.
Uncoated~ paper that has not been coated with adder fillers or calendared for gloss.  Uncoated papers are preferred for reading text and where a tactile matte surface is desired.
Vellum finish~ paper finish exhibiting a toothy surface very similar to eggshell or antique finishes.
Vellum paper~strong, quality cream or natural colored paper that emulates calfskin parchments. 
Velveteen~archival paper with a soft, fabric like texture perfect for keepsake uses.
Vivelle~ archival paper with a texture similar to terry-cloth.
Watermark~ impression of a design or pattern or symbol in a sheet of paper formed on the paper machine wire.  A watermark appears in the finished sheet as either a lighter or darker area than the rest of the paper. 
Web offset paper~uncoated or coated paper manufactured to be printed in a continuous manner from a roll.
Yellowing~ transformation inherent to paper made from vegetabl e fibers over time.  Easily evident in groundwood papers that contain lignin.
Zig-zag folding~ Continous form folding that alternates fold position from head to foot.  Often used to convert roll paper to a flat stack of forms.

Well I hope you learned somethng, I know I did.  This was adapted from the June/July 2006 issue of Scrapbook Retailer Magazine.

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Articus Studio, 8341 Old Tarlton Pike, Stoutsville, Oh 43154, 740-477-1238