Printing & Writing Papers
Printing and writing papers include paper used for books, magazines, office and home printers, birthday cards, wedding invitations, printed photos and vital documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and diplomas. These papers have continually adapted to fit the needs of each new generation, serving an important role in enabling the flow and exchange of information throughout all sectors of society and around the world.
In the U.S., printing and writing papers are divided into four major categories: uncoated free sheet, uncoated mechanical, coated free sheet, and coated mechanical papers.
The largest category of printing & writing papers is uncoated free sheet paper, which includes papers commonly used for office reprographics (copy paper), books, envelope paper and business form paper.
Uncoated mechanical papers are a quality alternative to free sheet paper and include newsprint and newspaper inserts, directories, and paperback books.
To improve the appearance and printing surface of printing papers, coatings, often made of clay and other additives, are added.
Examples of products that use coated free sheet papers are highly illustrated books,
high quality posters, magazines and advertising pieces.
Coated mechanical papers are used for magazines, catalogs and coupons.
Mechanical paper is made from pulp manufactured by one of several processes in which the wood fibers are separated from logs or chips mechanically, while free sheet paper is made by isolating wood fiber through heat, pressure and chemicals. The term free sheet originated to describe paper that was “free” of mechanical pulp but currently applies to papers that have 10 percent or less mechanical fiber.
Additional printing & writing papers are called related papers.
Cotton fiber paper is used for wedding and anniversary announcements, stationary and, most notably, the Declaration of Independence.
Bristol paper (or board) is used for file folders, postcards, paperback book covers and greeting cards.