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blog alphabetseries-01

Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we will be visiting paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.

blog micrometer2

 

 

C is for CALIPER
Caliper is the thickness of a single sheet of paper, measured in thousandths of an inch, mils or points. Caliper is measured using a micrometer, a device which measures minute thicknesses of paper by applying a static load for a set period of time. Consistency of caliper throughout a manufactured roll of paper is important. Increases or decreases in caliper can affect the extent to which the printing plate or blanket contacts the paper and affects printability and runnability. The thickness of a paper itself varies according to the basis weight desired or end-use considerations. Caliper can be reduced or increased at a variety of stages in the papermaking process. The  amount of pulp, dyes and sizing deposited on the wet end of the paper machine can be reduced or increased. The process of calendaring (rendering surface smoothness) can reduce the thickness of the paper.

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blog alphabetseries-01

Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we will be visiting paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.

 

B is for BASIS WEIGHT
Paper is commonly identified using basis weight - 24 Writing or a 80 Text, 100 Cover. Weighing 500 sheets (a ream) of any grade of paper in its standard basic size will determine its basis weight. To put it simply, 500 sheets of 17 x 22 (the basic size for a writing grade paper) of 24 lb. writing paper will weigh 24 pounds. Each type of paper has a standard basic size determined from over a century of manufacturing these different type of sheets. As printing presses and machinery changes, these basic paper sizes do not.

  • Text, Book and Offset paper’s standard basic size is 25 x 38
  • Writing, Bond and Ledger paper’s standard basic size is 17 x 22
  • Cover paper’s standard basic size is 26 x 20
  • Newsprint, Tag, Tissue and Board’s standard basic size is 24 x 36

The basis weight of a paper strongly influences the strength properties and paper traits such as thickness, opacity and runnability.

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blog againstthegrain-01

Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we will be visiting paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.


A is for AGAINST THE GRAIN
When paper is made, it is manufactured on a papermaking machine in rolls. These rolls are then sliced and cut to create the sheets you utilize to print. These rolls have a direction to them of how the paper’s fibers align as the roll is made creating grain direction. This direction is generated during the paper formation. As the paper moves along the papermaking machine, the fibers align themselves in a direction that is parallel to the forward direction of the machine. When the paper is cut into sheets from the roll, it will either be grain-long or grain-short. Grain long tells you the grain direction is parallel to the longer sheet dimension. Grain-short tells you the grain direction is parallel to the shorter dimension of the sheet. The grain is generally identified a couple of ways in swatchbooks, price books and stock guides with a bolded or underlined number and is usually the second dimension listed in the sheet size. This is why you may see, for example, a sheet listed as 23 x 35 or 35 x 23. This bolding, underlining or dimension position lets you know that the grain of the paper runs with that specific dimension. Grain becomes important to your print project when it is folded. Folding with, not against, the grain is recommended and optimal. Folds placed parallel to the grain are less prone to cracking than folds that go against the grain. For the highest quality fold, scoring is recommended. Grain is also a consideration in offset printing for dimensional stability. Dimensional stability is how well a sheet of paper retains and holds it original length and width once it is exposed to moisture. When paper fibers absorb water, they expand in width but not length. Grain-long is generally preferred to grain-short in multiple color jobs that need to align and register properly. When pages are bound into catalogs, the grain should be parallel with the binding edge to ensure they lay flat and turn easily. Always keep in mind, you don’t want to go against the grain.

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