The 16 types of paper: characteristics and functions

Paper is undoubtedly one of the most used items. Not only is it used for writing about it, as is the case with paper found in books and magazines, but it is also used for wrapping, printing photographs, and painting. paintings.

Of course, paper is one of the most versatile materials that man has created with as many needs as there are on the market, changing and adapting to everything.

Then we will talk about the different types of paper, What are they used for and what are their characteristics that differentiate them from each other.

    Paper Specifications

    There are many types of paper on the market, varying in their characteristics and function. It is believed that this material was invented in ancient Egypt around 3000 BC., A civilization that knew how to use the papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) to transform it into parchments on which they wrote all kinds of medical and mythological treatises. Over time and, above all, thanks to the fall in the price of its production, the role has become and adapted to different contexts and uses.

    All papers do not have the same function, because, depending on their properties, they serve one thing or another. Among the most important properties of paper are:

    1. Weight

    The weight is, in short, the weight of the paper per square meter. To find out this property applied to a particular paper, divide the thickness by the volume. Depending on the weight, it is possible to obtain a higher quality in different types of features but especially in the footprints.

    2. Volume

    Volume is the amount of air contained in the paper. The more air it contains, the lighter it will be, but keep in mind that this will also take up more space.

    3. Paper thickness

    Thickness refers to the stiffness and stability of the material. It is defined by multiplying the weight by the volume. This thickness, as one might assume, is what determines the width of the paper between the two sides. The thicker the paper, the more useful it will be to apply different varieties of water-based paints.

    4. Roughness

    Roughness is a key property when selecting the type of paper. This property affects the arrangement of ink being printed or written on the surface of the paper.. Therefore, the roughness and the type of ink that will be placed on the paper should be taken into account if you want to have a good quality print or design.

    5. Opacity

    Opacity is related to the lightness of the color of the paper, affecting the visibility of ink applied on it. Depending on their opacity, the color applied to the print may vary, causing what is seen on the monitor and the end result of the print to differ significantly or not.

    As the name suggests, the opacity of the paper is related to the amount of light projected onto that material and the higher the opacity, the greater the contrast with the resulting print.

      Paper type and its functions

      Once we understand the properties of paper, we can go on to explain the types of paper that exist.

      1. Print reproduction

      Reprint paper is also called offset paper or printing paper. It is the most common type of paper on the market and it is produced in large quantities.

      Usually, repro paper sheets are made with little cellulose and a lot of filler, which makes printing and, most importantly, color easier. It can occur on tracks 9 or 10 meters wide and at a speed of 2,000 meters per minute.

      The most common weights are between 70 and 90 g, although it can reach 100 g. At the time of manufacture, it tries to strive for the greatest possible whiteness, which is its main advantage. However, since it is not intended for use in environments requiring heavy handling, it only has the strength necessary to be able to pass through the printer and be folded.

      2. Satin paper

      The satin paper has a very defined and aesthetic finish and is characterized by its gloss. It is a type of paper that stands out for being really smooth, with a matte gloss finish. It is expensive and is often used to print very high quality images and photographs.

      3. Adhesive paper

      As its name suggests, adhesive paper has the particularity of being able to be glued. It is thanks to the fact that it has one side which has similar characteristics to printer paper, while on the other it has adhesive side which is used to be able to stick easily. It is a paper that stands out for its firmness and elasticity, used to make labels, rolled tapes, wrapping paper and stickers.

      The glue used is made from synthetic resins or rubbers and can be glued to different surfaces. In recent decades, more environmentally friendly adhesive papers have been invented, made with glues that leave no trace of substances.

      4. Recycled paper

      Really, the purpose of recycled paper can be quite varied. This type of paper it is made from the scraps of other papers and its use has increased in recent years due to greater concern for the environment. The percentage of recycled paper to be made is generally indicated on the packaging, as it can be made totally or partially from old paper that has already been used.

      Although its main advantage is that it is a good ecological choice, this material does not have great printing qualities or has good final finishes. It generally looks like repro paper, although it has a less attractive tone, rather than white, it is off-white and has a different strength.

      5. Bond paper

      No, this is not said in honor of James Bond, although it is certain that on several occasions Agent 007 has used it. It’s letterhead, Which has a high resistance and can be made in color or white, generally having a weight of between 60 and 130 gr. It is often used to print letter sheets, envelopes, and book interiors. It is a paper that can be used for inkjet, laser and copier printers.

      6. Glossy paper

      What is glossy paper it is used in particular to print photographs, Although it is also used with other types of images and texts. It is of high quality and of a good consistency, but has the disadvantage of having a much higher price than other papers. Glossy paper can only be used in injection printers because laser printers can melt paper due to its high temperatures.

      7. Organic or ecological paper

      You would think that organic paper and recycling are the same, but they are not. Although they share the fact that they are made with the environment in mind, organic paper is because it is made by meeting certain manufacturing requirements. This is usually done without cutting down natural forests or, if necessary, is reforested later. In addition, the use of chemicals harmful to the environment is avoided.

      On the other hand, in recycled paper, although the leftover paper is recycled to avoid having to manufacture more, the paper already used does not have to be organic, nor does it not have to respect the environment at all. Simply put, recycled paper can contain paper scraps that contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and are made by damaging forests.

      8. Thigh or coated paper

      Coated or padded paper has low strength, as it consists of a large amount of filler and it is made of short fibers rather than long. However, it has excellent print quality. Calcium carbonate is generally used as a binder and has high roughness, which makes ink faster and more homogeneous.

      A layer of stucco is applied over the cellulose which serves as the coating, which generates better printing and definition results. When applying ink, it remains on the surface of the paper, making the result after printing brighter and more colorful. Coated paper is used to make brochures, magazines or books.

      White coated paper is generally preferred because, in case the coating cracks, the background color will not be visible. There are also options with matte or semi-matte finishes, but although the ink will also remain on the surface, the gloss of the ink will be lower. This occurs in sheets 7 to 8 meters wide and at a speed of 1000 meters per minute.

      9. Tissue paper

      Woven paper is characterized by high absorbency and softness. Its water resistance varies depending on its purpose, which is usually household type.. For example, tissue paper is what we can find in napkins and paper towels, designed to be water resistant and not dissolve when absorbed.

      Different treatments are used during its production and it is usually produced with virgin fiber. Its production is usually done in 4-meter-wide rolls at speeds of 2,000 meters per minute, later cut to make handkerchiefs and napkins.

      10. Paperweight

      What is press paper it is used for making diaries and makes sense because this material has a very early expiration. As newspapers are publications, the use does not exceed one day, it is not cost effective to use materials that are resistant or withstand the passage of time, as would be the case with books and magazines.

      Press paper is made from mechanical pulp, which contains remnants of recycled paper and the like that make it a slightly white, rough and smelly paper. While the coloring of these posts has become popular over the past few decades because they weren’t originally intended for this, the print is often blurry and vague. Its resistance is very low, necessary only so that it does not break when turning the page.

      11. Cardboard

      the box it is made from paper of different thicknesses. In its preparation, a raw, unbleached paste is used, which allows it to retain its characteristic brown color. As it doesn’t matter much, its aesthetic bracelet is usually made from recycled paper.

      The cardboard is made of three layers of paper, two smooth exteriors and a corrugated interior, which gives the box strength. It is thanks to this corrugated layer that the material is however solid, because its aesthetic part is hardly treated nor its opacity is a very bad material to use in printing.

      12. Cardboard

      It can be bound to cardboard, although it is used for smaller products. This is the cardboard that can be found in cereal or cookie boxes. It is made from very short fibers which are rarely virgin fibers so it usually has a rather grayish or brown color which is usually on the inside.

      However, on the outside there is an impression. This is because it is a product and, like any other, your cover letter is essential for it to be purchased. The exterior usually has a layer of stucco printed with the product’s brand, images of itself and its name.

      Weight varies depending on what it is intended for or specific application and product. It must have the strength necessary to withstand the openings and closings of the product, from the moment it is released until its end.

      13. Postcard

      The card is a thicker type of paper than repro, with more rigidity and volume.

      It is similar to cardboard paper, but differs from it because, in principle, no layer of stucco is applied to it, and its visual properties are taken into account, in particular, opacity. Cardboard is the best material for making prints on which to apply finishes and varnishes. It is used to create folders, packaging and advertising material.

      14. Role of the fine arts

      Fine art paper is the name given to various types of paper for this purpose be used in the fine art world. There are therefore different fine art papers depending on whether they are intended for techniques such as watercolor, tempera painting, acrylic painting, sketching …

      15. Craft paper

      If it can be encompassed in the role of fine arts, kraft paper is usually not painted.

      It is a paper widely used in children’s crafts, being made in different colors and with a high degree of roughness. It is also the same paper that can be used as gift wrap and wrapping paper.

      16. Copying and vegetable paper

      Copy paper is a material that, by applying pressure on it, it may stain. It has a low weight of around 55 g / m2. Its surface is prepared so that, during writing, the imprint of the instrument used is marked on it and, for this reason, it is used in copies for delivery notes, check books, invoices …

      Vegetable paper is not carbonless paper, but its function and characteristics are similar. It is a paper also called onion paper and is used for performing tracing tasks because it is completely translucent. Carbonless paper is placed under the sheet it is written on, while parchment paper is placed on top of the copy sheet.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Hunter, Dard (1978). Paper making, history and technique of an ancient craft. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-23619-6.
      • Göttsching, Lothar; Gullichsen, Johan; Pakarinen, Heikki; Paulapuro, Hannu; Finnish Association of Paper Engineers; Pulp and Paper Industry Technical Association (2000). Recycling and descaling of fibers. Finland: Fapet Oy. P. 12-14. ISBN 978-952-5216-07-3. OCLC 247670296.

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