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Acid-free papers are manufactured in an alka-line environment, which prevents the internal chemical deterioration of the paper over time. The addition of calcium carbonate as a buffer also makes the paper resistant to the effects of an external acidic environment.

Degree of acid found in a given paper measured by the pH factor. pH is measured from 0 to 14, with 7 representing neutral between acid and alkaline. From 0 to 7 is considered acid as opposed to 7 to 14 which is alkaline.

Album paper
Usually refers to blank cover paper and used for making photographic albums.

Archival paper
Acid-free paper made to resist disintegration and used for documents that must last.

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The weight in pounds of 500 sheets (one ream) of a standard basic size. For example, the standard basic size for text papers is 25x38”. A ream of basis 70 text sheets in that size weighs 70 lbs. The basic size for cover papers is 20x26”. Weighing 500 sheets of any grade of paper in its proper basic size will determine its basis weight. In other words, 500 sheets of 17x22” 24-pound Bond will weigh 24 pounds.

Bond Paper
Originally a term applied to cotton-content paper used for printing bonds and legal documents, and distinguished by strength, performance, and durability. Bond paper may now be made from cotton, chemical wood pulp, or a combination of the two. Today, writing, digital, and cut-size papers are often identified with the bond scale.

General term for papers suitable for the graphic arts; may be coated or uncoated. Equivalent in weight to text papers.

Brightness is measured as the percentage of light in a narrow spectral range reflected from the surface of a sheet of paper. It is not necessarily related to color or whiteness. A paper with a brightness of 98 (like Mohawk Navajo) is an extremely bright sheet with almost all light being reflected back to the viewer. Bright white papers illuminate transparent printing inks, giving cleaner, crisper color, and contrast blacks.

Solid or laminated heavyweight printing paper made to a thickness of .006" or higher. It is often used for business cards, social announcements, posters and folders.

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Coated one side.

Coated two sides.

Caliper is a measure of paper thickness expressed in thousandths of an inch. The micrometer is used to measure caliper.

Carbonless paper
Paper that is treated or coated so that it will generate a copy under pressure.

Cast Coated
High-gloss coated paper manufactured by casting the coating paper against a highly polished, heated steel drum.

Coated back (carbonless paper).

Cast-coated one side.

Coated front (carbonless papers).

Coated front and back (carbonless papers).

Coated Paper
Made with a surface coating, which allows 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.

Commodity papers
Term used to classify average qualities of bond, offset and related papers produced in high volume on big paper machines.

Communication papers
General reference to those papers which are used in communications such as bond, writing, and xerographic.

The traditional light lens copier focuses light from the original through a lens onto a photoconductive receptor that converts light energy into spots of electrical energy that accept toner for transfer to paper. Newer copiers are actually combinations of digital scanners and electronic printers that take the spots of the scanned image and output them as laser energy to create a charge on the photoreceptor for toner transfer.

Copy paper
Paper used in photocopying machines.

Cover Paper
Also called card stock, these papers are heavyweight coated or uncoated paper with good folding characteristics. Their diverse uses include folders, booklet covers, brochures and pamphlets.

Waviness, roll or curvature sometimes at the edge of the sheet which can occur in the paper mill, in the printer's storeroom, on the printer's press, or in the bindery. Curl is usually associated with improper balance of mositure within the sheet, uneven drying coming off press. Curl can also be the result of fiber orientation within the sheet, internal stresses, improper reginng of pulp, or mechanical stresses during manufacture or printing.

A customark is a watermark made with a rubber printing plate treated with a tranparentizing solution that leaves a mark in the paper. This process produces a wire appearance in which the mark is lighter than the surrounding paper. It can be produced in smaller quantities and at a lower price than a genuine watermark, which requires a dandy roll.

Cut Size
Papers cut to a small common size, usually 8.5x11” and 17x11”.

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Digital Papers
Papers designed for the speci½c processes of the emerging digital printing technologies. Unlike traditional offset printing, the digital environment is centered in quick turnarounds, short runs, and the ability to vary printed information within the run.

Duplex papers feature a different color on each side of the sheet, laminated together.

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Glossy, shiny surfaced, coated paper.

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A ream or sheet in its full size, e.g. 17" x 22", 25" x 38". When used in connection with books, means the sheet has been folded once, producing four pages.

Refers to the uniformity and distribution of fibers within a sheet of paper. In a well-formed sheet, solid ink coverage will go down smoothly. A poorly formed sheet will exhibit a mottled appearance when printed. Formation can be checked by holding the paper up to a light source: A well formed sheet appears uniform, while in a poorly formed sheet the fibers appear as clumps, giving it a cloudy look.

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As the paper web is carried forward on the machine, the majority of fibers orient themselves in the machine direction. When the web of paper is sheeted, the sheets will be grain long (fibers that follow the long side of the sheet) or grain short (they follow he short side). Grain direction should be considered during the design process for best results during printing, folding, and converting.

Grain long
Term used to designate that the grain of the paper is parallel to the longest measurement of a sheet of paper. The fibers are aligned parallel to the longest measurement fo a sheet of paper. The fibers are aligned parallel to the length of the sheet.

Grain short
Perpendicular to grain long. Grain of the paper runs at right angles to the longest dimension of the sheet. Fiber alignment in grain short paper parallels the sheet's shortest dimension.

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A type of printer that sprays droplets of ink onto paper to form an image. Continuous inkjet printers spray a continuous stream of ink, which is electronically controlled to print an image. Drop on demand inkjet printers shoot out single drops of ink as needed.

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Most label paper is coated on one side. Used for labels of various types.

Acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission from Radiation. An intense, focused beam of light used in many imaging systems to produce images through electronic impulses.

Laser Guarantee
Papers bearing the laser guarantee are guaranteed to perform in your laser printer, copier, or plain paper fax.

Laser Paper
Very smooth, low-moisture papers manufactured in cut sizes for laser printers and office duplicating equipment. Low moisture prevents paper curling from high heat in laser printers. Note: If your job is designed to run through a laser printer, you should specify laser-compatible offset inks.

Laser Printing
Mostly used in office equipment, laser printing uses toner adhesion in a heat process to apply "ink" to the sheet. Dry toner is attracted to the charged area and is fused to paper with heat and/or pressure.

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Symbol in the paper industry designating 1,000. Usually used to designate 1,000 sheets or two reams of fine paper.

The weight, in pounds, of 1000 sheets of paper of a given size.

Matte finish
Matte coated papers have little or no gloss, and range from 0 to 20 on the gloss scale. They have been prime coated with a thicker weight than applied to regular dull coated papers, but the coat weight per basis weight is less.

Moisture Content
The amount of moisture found in a sheet of paper. If the moisture content in a sheet is too high or too low, the paper can curl or build up static, which affects the way it runs through a press, printer or copier. within the limits outlined by your equipment manufacturer.

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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.

On-Demand Printing
Term for new business developing around short-run color printing. Small quantities of high-quality color printing can be delivered “on demand” wherever and whenever required.

On the Fly
A phrase often used in digital printing to describe a press’ ability to print variable data as it is operating, without being shut down for a new make-ready.

Measure of the percentage of light passage through a sheet of paper. The more opaque a paper is, the less show-through there will be from printing on the sheet below. Basis weight, brightness, type of fibers, fillers, coatings, and formation all influence opacity. Generally, opacity and brightness are inversely related to each other: the brighter the paper, the less opaque. Other factors that affect opacity are bulk, surface smoothness, and shade.

That property of paper which prevents "show-through" of printing, or other marks; on or in contact with the backside. In photoengraving, to paint-out areas on the negative that must not appear on the plate

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per M
Per thousand

PH value
Degress of acidity or alkalinity measured on a scale from 0 to 14 with 7 the neutral point.

Substance, usually mineral or inorganic compounds, used to give paper its color.

Pressure-sensitive paper
Paper that is coated on one or both sides with adhesive. This adhesive is activated by pressure. Usually used in the manufacture of labels and tapes

Cellulose fiber material produced by chemical or mechanical means from which paper and paperboard is manufactured. Origins of this cellulose fiber are many. Among the sources are wood, cotton, flax, esparto grass, straw, jute, bagasse, bamboo, hemp, various leaf fibers and reeds.

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Five hundreds sheets of paper

Recycled Paper
A recycled paper by definition must contain some kind of waste product. There are three basic types of recycled waste, and it's their proportions in the paper mix that determine the environmental credentials.
  1. Post Consumer Waste
    This is waste that has 'outlived' its life cycle. It has been rescued from the waste bins of businesses, homes, schools and institutions and diverted from landfills. Typically, post-consumer waste includes cardboard, newspapers, magazines, stationery and other assorted papers. This waste can be put to good use, producing newsprint, cardboard and other products. However, to produce fine paper with post-consumer waste the waste must contain only fine papers.

  2. Pre-Consumer Waste
    Also known as post-commercial waste, this type of waste is usually found in paper convertors and printers' waste bins. It might contain unsold paper, including magazines and newspapers, trim from envelopes and binding from merchants, retailers and wholesalers. Mills have been recycling pre-consumer waste for years.

  3. Mill Waste
    Waste is also collected from paper mills and reintroduced into the papermaking process. Like pre-consumer waste, mill waste has always been recycled.
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Satin finish
A smooth finish applied to paper.

In reference to paper conversion, creasing by mechanical means to facilitate folding while guarding against cracking of paper and board. Scoring is essential when heavyweight papers are to be folded across the grain.

The surface quality of a sheet of paper, related to the flatness of the sheet. Smoothness affects ink and toner receptivity. The Sheffield scale measures smoothness. A higher value typically indicates a rougher sheet. For example, Navajo’s smoothness is 45, whereas vellum offset may have a rating from 200-250.

The material upon which something is printed, usually paper.

Same as sample book - A grouping of papers usually in bound form, that displays the weights, colors, finishes and other particulars of a collection of papers to aid in the selection of grades.

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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.

In reference to paper, measurement in thousandths of an inch

Tiny plastic resin particles that are used in the electrophotographic printing process to form an image. Toners can be dry or liquid. For both types, the toner particles are charged and applied to the image area on a photoconductive drum or looped belt, then applied and fused to paper.

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Uncoated Paper
Paper manufactured with no surface coating. There is a wide variety of grades and levels of quality among uncoated papers.

Vellum Finish
Natural or machine finish, like antique or eggshell.

Designs formed in fine wire or in low-relief metal castings and sewn onto the dandy roll. The resulting thick and thin areas make the watermark slightly more translucent than the rest of the sheet. Watermarks were historically used to convey a sense of quality in letterhead papers.

So-called white papers have a definite hue. Most are made with a blue-white tint. Whiteness of pulp and paper is generally indicated by its brightness which is reflectance of a wave length of blue light.

Writing Paper
Suitable for pen and ink, pencil, laser printing or offset printing. Writing grades are designed for letterheads, corporate identity programs, and office copiers.

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An electrophotographic process that electrostatically charges an image on a photoconductive drum or belt. The charge attracts toner, which is then fused to paper.

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