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Paper Finishes Demystified
Many different surface structures or finishes exist for paper. Paper finishes can give both interesting visual and tactile qualities to the paper. Often the paper category known as specialty paper will offer different paper finishes. While paper can have many different finishes some finishes are more common and these have become more or less industry standards among major paper manufacturers. Each paper mill has a different look to their specific brand of paper finsish, so you can't reply on the same exact felt, linen or other finish from mill to mill. The finishes below are considered to be the more classic paper finishes and are commonly found in a variety of different paper mill brands
Follow the images below to see close-up examples of paper surfaces
Paper finishes are achieved through various methods of manufacturing. Some paper finishes are felted finishes meaning they were produced on the paper machine by pressing the newly made paper against various felt patterns within the paper machine resulting in a felt finish. Felt finishes can have different patterns depending on the pattern of the felt used on the paper machine.
Rougher paper finishes are achieved by making no effort to smooth the paper surface while within the paper machine or by not further smoothing the paper off the paper machine in what are known as a calendar stacks. Calendar stacks are large steel cylinders which the paper is passed through to add a higher degree of smoothness to the paper finish, much like ironing a shirt.
Other paper finishes are achieved through embossing the paper off machine with embossing rolls which can offer many different patterns. Embossing rolls are steel cylinders with etched patterns in their surface. The paper is passed between the etched cylinder impressing the cylinder pattern onto the paper surface creating an embossed paper finish.