We are going to write a few posts highlighting the variety of paper types, grades, and some common terms when dealing with paper. Paper is a matted or felted sheet, usually composed of plant fiber. Over the years, paper has been made from a variety of materials including hemp, cotton, sugar cane, and straw. Today paper is mostly made from cellulose fiber derived from wood.
Cellulose fiber can be derived from a variety of plants. The cellulose fibers construct each type of paper. The longer the fiber, results in a stronger paper. The negative aspect of long fibers, is they tend to have a rougher texture and surface. Different pulping methods can also impact the strength and structure of the paper being produced. Mechanical pulping extracts the cellulose from the wood by cutting it. This is the most economical method of pulping. The downside is that the mechanical pulping reduces the cellulose fiber length. Chemical pulping allows the cellulose fibers to remain intact and undamaged, resulting in stronger paper.
The following list of paper types gives a general description of different paper products available.
Newsprint– Newsprint is composed of 95% economical wood pulps. Newsprint commonly has a low brightness, and a high oil absorbency rate. Newsprint is commonly used for printing newspapers. In packaging, newsprint is often used for void-fill and cushioning. At U.S. Packaging & Wrapping, we sell recycled newsprint for void fill, while keeping the environment in mind.
Book Papers- Shares many characteristics with newsprint. Book paper is cut to a variety of sizes to fit multiple book sizes. A clay coating is often added to help enhance the visual appearance.
Greaseproof Papers & Parchment Paper- Greaseproof papers are derived from chemical pulps and packed tightly to keep from absorbing fluids. Often times the paper is coated with a special poly coating to further enhance the ability to resist grease. Poly coated Kraft paper is different from parchment paper, but can also be used to resist grease.
Kraft Paper– One of the strongest papers available, is used when maximum strength is needed. Kraft paper can be used for paper bags in the grocery store, void-fill, cushioning, interleaving, and a variety of other uses. The long fibers in Kraft paper make it strong, but poor for printing.
Bleached Kraft Paper- Bleached Kraft paper is ideal for when appearance is an issue. When the Kraft paper will be printed on, the paper is coated and smoothed.
Tissue Paper- Tissue paper is a term commonly used to refer to a lighter paper. Tissue paper is often used in packaging for void-fill in baskets and smaller objects.
Label Paper- Similar to book paper, often coated to allow better printing qualities. Label paper can be coated on one or two sides.
Pouch papers- Pouch papers are virgin Kraft papers treated with plasticizers to make them more pliable. A common use for pouch paper is soap wrappers.
Containerboards- A containerboard is a Kraft board made for the liners of corrugated fiberboard. Containerboard is a strong board that is composed of long cellulose fibers. We sell a variety of corrugated boxes and boards on our website.
These are only a few common paper types and their characteristics. Our goal is to give consumers a brief overview of paper types to assist them when buying paper. We are not a paper company, but we do sell a variety of paper products that are used for packaging. Feel free to click on any of the links above to view the specific products in our store.