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Last edited 13 Jun 2022
Types of paper
Paper is a material made from organic fibres pulped into a soft or liquid material which is laid over a screen and pressed. The liquid is removed and the fibres left to dry to produce a thin sheet material with many uses. The fibres are usually cellulose, extracted from pulped wood, where the lignin is removed. It can also be from other fibres such cotton or bamboo.
There are many different types of paper, they differ and are defined by the materials and processes used as well as their uses, some of these are listed below.
- Acid-free paper - used over a long period of time, low lignin, added calcium bicarbonate for a set ph to prevent ageing, yellowing, or deterioration..
- Archival paper - the same as acid free paper but manufactured using cotton fibres.
- Artist’s paper - a generic term for many different types of paper used in the creative industries.
- Baking paper - coated and used for baking and cooking, as it is non-stick. see also parchment paper.
- Banana paper - made from banana plant bark or peel fibres, it has a low density, high stiffness and tensile strength.
- Blotting paper - absorbent paper used for traditional ink writing, with microscope slides or even the removal of excess oil from skin.
- Book paper - Standard printing paper for books.
- Bond paper - heavier, rigid sheet paper with a strong and rough texture used for important documents.
- Building paper - hard-wearing paper used a cladding or floor underlay, as a draft or sometimes vapour check or separation layers.
- Copier P]paper - Standardised paper for copy machines.
- Cotton paper - Similar to archival paper, made from cotton, it is long lasting and hard wearing. It may be considered a textile.
- Construction paper - Rigid paper used for modelling a craft projects.
- Cigarette Paper - thin paper of different grades for making and rolling cigarettes.
- Craft Paper - similar to construction paper but also refers to thick paper for craft making.
- Crepe paper - thin stretchy rippled coloured paper for craft making.
- Edible paper - often made from starch and sugars and used for cake decoration.
- Filter paper - used in air filters to separate particles, vehicles for oil, fuel and gas and in preparing coffee or tea. Often a form of manilla paper.
- Food paper - coated, waxed or plain paper used to wrap fresh food.
- Glossy paper - fine paper coated with a sheen or gloss finish.
- Inkjet paper - specially treated to work well with modern printers.
- Lining paper - thin paper used to line cupboards, drawers or boxes.
- Litmus paper - absorbent paper infused with a litmus mixture of colour dyes that react to solutions depending on the ph level.
- Loose-leaf paper - general term for loose sheets.
- Manilla paper - from semi-bleached wood fibres, initially used for stationary - now mainly as filter paper.
- Newspaper - often containing recycled paper - low grade used for newsprint.
- Parchment paper - coated and used for baking and cooking as it is non-stick. See also baking paper. Also refers to traditional scrolls.
- Photographic paper - coated in light sensitive chemicals used in the production of photographic images.
- Printer paper - generic term for loose paper for modern printers.
- Rice paper - edible paper from rice that is used in Asian dishes such as summer rolls.
- Recycled paper - contains a percentage of recycled content.
- Recyclable paper - indicates in can be recycled - not that it has been recycled.
- Sandpaper- rigid paper with abrasive surface used to grind and smooth materials such as wood.
- Sugar paper - used as another term for construction paper but also edible paper from sugar.
- Tissue paper - thin paper used for human hygiene.
- Toilet paper - thin paper used for human hygiene in lavatories.
- Tracing paper - high quality fine translucent paper used by architects and graphic designers from tracing images.
- Wallpaper - Thick paper often with a pattern that is fixed or hung on walls with glue for decoration and some insulation.
- Wax paper - paper coated with wax and similar to parchment but will burn more readily.
- Wove paper - centuries old technique for hand-made wove paper using a wooden mould with a finely woven brass wire cloth or vellum.
- Wrapping paper - coloured and patterned paper for wrapping gifts.
- Xuan Paper - Fine smooth rice paper that is produced specifically for Chinese calligraphy and arts.
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