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# - may represent "number," as in "Coated #1," or "pounds," as in 70# text paper.

Acid free - Made in a neutral PH process that increases the longevity of the paper.

Basis Weight - Traditional paper basis weights common to each grade of paper are based on measurements determined hundreds of years ago by Arab papermakers. They represent the finished weight of a ream of paper in a size specific to the grade of paper. (These sizes are usually "parent sheet" sizes, not cut-size reams.) Therefore, weights are not always the same between grades. For example, a 20# writing/script paper is not less than half the weight of a 50# text paper but, rather, similar to it. A 24# writing paper is generally equivalent to a 60# text, while a 28# writing paper is generally equivalent to a 70# text paper. That's because the size of paper being weighed by the ream is different for text than for writing papers.

Blade coating - A process in which paper is given a clay coating that is spread by a blade that covers the width while the paper runs underneath it, rather than the paper running through a bath of clay coating.

Blow-in cards - The advertising postcards found slipped into the pages of most magazines.

Brightness - A technical measurement of the light reflected back from the paper, with 100 being the highest brightness. High bright papers also usually look the whitest, although visual comparisons between papers of different brightness are often difficult unless they are side-by-side. Even then, close brightnesses are difficult to distinguish.

Calender - A series of rollers that squeeze the finished paper, creating a harder, firmer surface that often looks somewhat shiny.

Carton - Refers to a standard box of paper. The number of sheets in a carton varies for large printing sheets, but typically is 10 reams for cut-size papers (e.g. copy paper in a retail store). Some office products stores have recently introduced 5-ream "cartons," so it's wise to double-check how much paper to expect in your supplier's carton.

Coated paper - Paper with a clay coating, which provides a better printing surface for crisper, more brilliant colors.

Commodity paper - High volume paper, usually white, that forms a large percentage of paper sales, including offset and copy paper. High volume production compensates for commodity grades' slimmer profit margins.

Converter - A company that buys raw finished paper rolls to make into value-added products such as envelopes, continuous forms, and cut-size sheets.

Cover weight - A specific grade, or type, of paper that varies in thickness but usually is a weight typically used for business cards, report covers, and stiff brochures.

Cut size - Ready-to-use paper sizes such as 8-1/2x11and 11x14, up to 17x22 (which, when folded, becomes 8-1/2x11).

Deinking - The process by which ink is lifted off used paper, which is then broken back down into fibers to be recycled into new paper.

Dirt Count - The average amount of dirt specks in a specific size of paper area. Both virgin sheets and recycled sheets have "dirt," although recycled paper usually has a slightly higher dirt count than virgin paper. However, it rarely affects recycled paper's quality and use.

EPA - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which publishes guidelines for minimum recycled product content, for use by federal agencies for purchasing standards. Most U.S. state and local governments, as well as businesses and organizations, have voluntarily adopted these content standards, as well. EPA also advocates source reduction practices, as well as other aspects of environmentally sound products, such as reduced toxics, energy savings, and biomass projects. In addition to providing guidance on environmental products, EPA regulates many aspects of paper industry production, including emissions (air, water, land) and solid waste management.

Finish - The physical "look and feel" of the paper's surface. May include raised designs such as "linen" and "laid," or a smooth surface.

Forms bond - Paper converted into continuous forms.

Freesheet - Paper made from pulp created in a Kraft process that has removed the lignin from the pulp. Freesheet paper has more longevity than groundwood paper which still contains lignin (such as newspapers).

FSC - Forest Stewardship Council, an independent, international, environmentally and socially oriented forestry certification organization. It trains, accredits and monitors third-party certifiers around the world and works to establish international forest management standards. Although other organizations, including forest and paper associations, offer some types of certification systems, FSC is the only one that is verifiably performance-based, has widespread market acceptance, and has established credibility with the major environmental and social organizations worldwide.

FTC - U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which publishes guidance to help companies clarify which kinds of product labeling language would be regarded as appropriate and which misleading, with potential for FTC investigation.

Groundwood - Paper made from pulp created in one of several processes that use virtually the whole tree. Originally, the tree was simply ground up. Now there are also chemical and heating processes used in pulping. Groundwood paper retains the lignin from the original trees, which causes the paper to yellow and deteriorate relatively rapidly.

House Sheet - The standard paper kept on hand by a printer in each grade. While the printer will usually be able to get most papers customers ask for, house sheets are most easily available and, because they are bought continuously in large quantities, usually offer the best price.

Kraft process - A chemical pulping process that cooks down the tree to remove lignins, retaining the fibers for papermaking. Freesheet papers are made in a kraft process.

Lignin - The "glue" that binds the cells of the tree and creates its structure. Approximately one-third of the tree is lignin.

Making Order - A paper that is not available off a supplier's shelf, but must be ordered from a mill. The mill and supplier will advertise the paper's availability, but customers must buy enough to warrant production, usually a truckload or more.

Opacity - The amount of "show through" in a sheet, or how much of the text and design on one side of a paper shows through on the other side.

Pallet - A standard amount of paper that fits on a wooden pallet. In cut-size sheets, a pallet equals 40 cartons.

Parent-size - Sheets of paper larger than cut-size. Parent-size sheets are often 22x35 or 25x40.

Postconsumer - Paper that has reached its intended end-user before being discarded. For example, paper recovered from curbside collections is considered to be postconsumer, but paper scraps from a printshop are not. The printshop is not the "intended end-user," but is adding value to the paper that will eventually reach the end-user.

Private Label - Paper made by a paper mill to be sold under a customer's brand name rather than the mill's. The paper may be the same as one sold under the mill brand name, or the private label customer may require unique specifications for its paper. Examples include copy paper that carries the Xerox label, made at several different mills, and office papers that carry the Hewlett-Packard label. The private label customer does not own or operate the paper mill, only contracts with it for paper marketed under the customer's label.

Quick Printer - A printer who uses small sheet-fed presses, usually using only cut-size papers. Quick printers specialize in small print jobs such as resumes, business cards, small quantities of stationery and envelopes, brochures, and provide quick turn-around.

Ream - Most often 500 sheets, although it can be less (often 250) for heavy papers.

Recycled - Paper made, at least in part, from recovered scrap paper. There is no universally accepted definition for "recycled," so legal requirements vary by specific circumstances. EPA requires postconsumer content in "recycled" papers bought by federal agencies, but FTC does not require postconsumer content in papers labeled "recycled." Most U.S. governments and companies use EPA's standards, but European producers do not isolate postconsumer content.

Recovered - Scrap paper collected for remanufacturing into recycled paper. EPA's definition for "recovered," which is most widely accepted, does not include scrap created in the initial papermaking process, but it does include scrap created in a mill after the paper comes off the paper machine.

Rolls - The same as "Web."

Sheets - Many printing presses work with sheets of paper, usually in large standard sizes such as 25x40 and 22x35 or, at a quick printer, cut sizes up to 17x22. Multiple project pages are usually printed on each sheet, then cut or folded to produce the end product. Different size sheet-fed printing presses can be used for small jobs such as a ream of resumes or 1000 business cards up to large print jobs such as thousands of brochures or a small magazine run.

Sludge - The waste material left over after pulping and deinking. Although some sludge is produced in the virgin papermaking process, far more is produced in the deinking (recycling) process. Recycling breaks recovered paper down into fibers, which are sent to the paper machine for new production, and other materials, which drop into the sludge. These "other materials" include clay coatings, fillers from the previous paper, paper clips and staples, fibers too short to be made into paper, ink if it wasn't skimmed off in the deinking process, and any "junk" that crept into the wastepaper bales.

Stocking Paper - A paper kept in current inventory by mills, distributors and/or printers, so that it is readily available to customers. Mills should have it always available to ship to distributors. Each distributor and printer comes up with its own mix of stocking papers, so availability will vary within areas.

Truckload - Generally refers to 40,000 pounds of paper.

Uncoated paper - Paper without a clay (often slick) coating.

Virgin - Paper made the first time, most often from wood pulp.

Web - Many printing presses work with huge, continuous rolls of paper. Web presses are used for large printing jobs, such as large magazine runs, newspapers, or tens of thousands of brochures.

Weight - See Basis Weight

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