Ask any crafter what are their must have’s are, the paper will make one of the top 10 must-haves. In this blog post, I share interesting titbits about how paper is made, the history of paper art, and all kinds of interesting facts about cardstock.
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Let’s start with what is paper made of? Most paper is made from trees. The most common trees used for paper are pine, aspen, birch, fir, larch, etc. Some paper is made using natural fibers like cotton. Paper made from natural fibers is often used for stationery because its fibers are very strong. Finally, you have recycled paper that is made from paper waste that is generated during the paper manufacturing and printing processes or from old newspapers.
A bigger question is but who invented paper? There are many theories as to who and when the paper was invented. The majority agree that paper was born in 105AD in China. T’sai Lun was inspired by bees weaving fibers together, which caused him to experiment on his own, and that lead to the art of papermaking.
Now is the fun part, understanding the weight of the paper. Typically the heavier the stock, the better the quality, but keep in mind that many other factors affect paper quality, including finish, brightness, color, composition, and acidity. We know that heavier weights amount to higher quality and are more expensive.
Book paper (30 to 115 pounds): This category includes coated and uncoated papers of varying thicknesses. Book paper is commonly used to print books, booklets, catalogs, magazine publications, and posters.
Cover paper (60 to 120 pounds): Commonly referred to as cardstock, cover paper is thick and stiff (although as you can see by the pound range, this thickness can vary substantially). It is frequently used for business cards, door hangers, menus, invitations, postcards, rack cards, report covers, self-mailers, sketching, and so on. This is the paper that most crafters use. One of the popular places to get this paper is Michaels, my favorite go-to brand is Recollections.
Index paper (90, 110, and 140 pounds): As the name suggests, this stiff paper is most commonly used for index cards. It’s also frequently used for postcards, tabs and dividers, manila folders, and sketchbooks.
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