Glossary of Paper Terms

Glossary of Paper Terms

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Abrasion Resistance
The level at which paper can withstand continuous scuffing or rubbing.
Absorption
The properties within paper that cause it to absorb liquids (inks, water, etc.) which come in contact with it.
Accordion Fold
A binding term describing a method of folding paper. When unfolded it looks like the folds of an accordion.
Acetate Proof
A transparent, acetate printing proof used to reproduce anticipated print colors on a transparent acetate sheet. Also called color overleaf proof.
Acid Free
Paper made in a neutral pH system, usually buffered with calcium carbonate. This increases the longevity of the paper.
Acidity
Degree of acid found in a given paper substance measured by pH level. From 0 to 7 is classified acid as opposed to 7 to 14, which is classified alkaline.
Against the Grain
A right angle to which the fiber direction of a piece of paper lies. Folding with, not against, the grain is recommended.
Airdried Paper
Paper that is dried by circulating hot air around it with little or no tension or restraint on the paper. This gives the paper a hard cockle finish typical of bond papers.
Alcohol/Alcohol Substitutes
Liquids added to the fountain solution of a printing press to reduce the surface tension of water.
Aluminum Plate
A metal press plate used for moderate to long runs in offset lithography to carry the image.
Announcement Cards
Cards of paper with matching envelopes generally used for social stationery, announcements, weddings, greetings, etc.
Antique Finish
A paper finish, usually used in book and cover papers, that has a tactile surface. Usually used in natural white or creamwhite colors.
Apron
Extra space at the binding edge of a foldout, usually on a French fold, which allows folding and tipping without interfering with the copy
Archival
Acid free or neutral paper that includes a minimum of 2% calcium carbonate to increase the longevity of the paper.
Artificial Parchment
Paper produced with poorly formed formation.
Artwork
A general term used to describe materials prepared and readied for print.
Ascenders
The tops of lower case letters such as: b, d, h and t.

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