Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paper Grain & Smoothness

Most customers leave it up to us for paper stock recommendations but if you are interested here are some of the specifications we take into consideration.

Don't Go Against the Grain

Being knowledgeable about paper grain and ways you can ensure your documents are "going with the flow" will pay off in document quality. You'll also maximize both your paper and printing investments by avoiding costly reprints. You'll find the paper grain basics here, as well as specific instructions for proper grain direction in certain types of documents.

What is paper grain?

A paper's grain is the direction in which most of the fibers lie. Grain is determined during the papermaking process, when fibers tend to align in one direction or the other. Paper is identified as either grain short (grain is parallel to paper's short side) or grain long (grain is parallel to the paper's long side), depending on how the paper is cut. 

A paper mill may indicate paper grain on carton and ream labels, product brochures, swatch books and price lists in several ways: You may see the words Grain Long or Grain Short.

The dimension parallel to the grain may be underscored. For example, 8.5x11 indicates long grain, while 11x17 indicates short grain.

Folded Documents

Fold paper parallel to the grain direction. Paper folded against the grain may be rough and crack along the folded edge. The heavier the paper, the more likely roughness and cracking will occur. We suggest you score* heavier papers prior to folding. 

Signature Booklets

When you are producing a signature booklet, make sure the grain direction is parallel to the folded edge of the signature. We recommend against mixing long grain and short grain paper in a signature*. Why? When the booklet is trimmed, you may get uneven or stepped edges.

Paper Smoothness Improves Image Quality

Smooth Paper for a Smooth Process! The smoothness, or roughness, of a paper's surface is its finish. When it comes to paper, the smoother the better. Image quality depends on it.

You can work with MI Printing to work on your business printing needs.  We look forward to working with your business.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

Presented By
MI Printing, LLC 
Phone: 623.582.1302