Hello Loves! It's been a while since I've sat down to write a blog post — I don't know about you, but this year has been crazy so far... So, blogging fell off by the
wayside for me, but I've got a few new ideas for series to write, and I'm ready to jump back into it.
Today, I'm starting a new series called 'A Glossary of Stationery Terms' — not a very creative name, I know, but it does the job for descriptive purposes!
In this post, I'm going to be declassifying paper types for you, starting off with:
Event Stationery Paper Types: Paper Weight
I'm beginning this post with the most "technical" bit about the paper you might use for your stationery. My most popular paper weights are 160gsm, 180gsm, and 350gsm but what does all that mean? Basically, in the metric system, paperweight is expressed in terms of grams per square metre (g/m2), or commonly known as GSM.
If you have a run of the mill printer at home or at work, chances are that you use 80gsm copy paper to print on. That means that your office paper has 80 g/m2, therefore 1 typical A4 sheet ( 1⁄16 m2) weighs 5 g. Are you still with me?
So how does this apply to your invitations? Wedding invitations are important pieces of paper and shouldn't be printed on cheap, 80gsm paper. The heavier the weight, the thicker the paper and the better your invitations will look and feel.
The type of paper you use will also prescribe what types of printing you can utilize for your invitations. For example, thicker paper is best for letterpress while smooth 180gsm paper is more suited for digital printing and foil printing.
Event Stationery Paper Types: Handmade Paper
Now we move on to types of paper — and, honestly, how could I not start with handmade paper??!
Handmade paper is unlike anything else on this list, and I feel positively blessed to be able to work with it on a regular basis (Thank you to the hardworking paper makers and stationers who started this trend!). The texture and delicate colour is truly unique, you have to experience it in person. Okay… I'll stop waxing lyrical about it now.
Handmade paper is made by hand (of course…) using a screen and is then inspected and treated so that it can be printed or written upon.
It is notoriously tricky to work with and most commercial printers will not use it for this reason. I print on it in-house to make sure every stationery piece is perfect.
Event Stationery Paper Types: Vellum
Vellum is another surprisingly difficult substrate to work with — the results are so breathtaking that the effort is unquestionably worth it though!
The vellum that we use these days is not the same as that which was used years ago; it's actually a type of thin plastic that's far easier to mass produce, but this results in a delicate paper that's prone to ripping and smudging as it runs through a printer.
It's also especially sensitive to atmospheric temperature and will begin to warp if it's a warm day or even if it is held in your hand for a few minutes. It's for this reason that I will usually recommend it for winter events more than summer ones... For all of this though, vellum has an elegant delicateness about it when used within a stationery suite that cannot be replicated with any other paper, and it will always be a firm favourite of mine.
Event Stationery Paper Types: Cotton Stock
Cotton paper is similar to handmade paper in that it has a pleasant texture to it (although, nowhere near as rough as handmade.) (also, it's made by machines 😉 ) It still has a wonderful, luxurious, and high-quality feel. Cotton paper is probably the most popular one use for wedding stationery worldwide.
Event Stationery Paper Types: Smooth Cover Stock
Smooth cover paper is the other favourite paper choice. The paper is nice and smooth and almost has an almost satin-like finish. Often used with foiling and digital flat-printing, it makes a gorgeous high-quality print at a more affordable price.
Event Stationery Paper Types: Deckled Edges
I wondered for a while under which classification I should put deckled edges, and I think they're best placed here. Deckled edges are the rough outer edge of the paper left over from the papermaking process. Handmade paper often has deckled edges, but it is also possible to 'hand-deckle' cotton paper or even smooth cover stock to get that rough textured feel on a paper that will work better for printing processes like foiling or letterpress.
Well, that's about it. These are the paper choices which you'll most likely have to choose between, and I hope this helps you in your decision! The paper you choose for your wedding stationery goes hand-in-hand with the printing types you go for, as the printing process will dictate which paper works best.
Stay tuned for our next post in this series where I'll be talking about the different printing options you can choose. (or join our mailing list to be notified! 😉 )