FAQs About Paper

Paper Questions & Answers

Why is cotton used in paper?

Why should I use cotton fiber paper?

Will cotton fiber paper work in my printer?

Why are fine papers watermarked?

What are the security features of the watermark?

What weight of paper should I use?

What is the difference between Writing and Text Weight?

What is Cover Stock?

What weight envelope should I use?

What is A4 Paper?

What is bond paper?

What is wove paper?

What is granite paper?

What is parchment paper?

What is laid paper?

What is linen paper?

Will embossed papers work in my printer?

What is “acid free” paper?

How long will my paper last?

What is Post Consumer Fiber (PCF)?

Does Southworth make Recycled paper?

What is ECF?

What is FSC®?

Why is cotton used in paper?

Cotton is one of the strongest and most durable fibers known to man. Papers manufactured from cotton fiber will last longer and hold up better under repeated handling and various environmental conditions than paper made from wood pulp. Generally, given reasonable care, a consumer can expect one year of usable life for every 1% of cotton contained in the sheet. Paper made with 100% cotton content can be expected to live at least 100 years.

To illustrate this attribute, it has been documented that in 1962 while perusing the Illinois Historical Society archives, a letter dated 1858 and signed by Abraham Lincoln was discovered. This letter bore the unmistakable Southworth brand watermark that has stood the test of time.

Typically cotton fiber papers are made of either all cotton fiber (100% cotton) or a blend of cotton and wood pulp. The most common blend is made of 25% cotton and 75% wood pulp.

back to top

Why should I use cotton fiber paper?

Behind the words and below the images, the paper you use makes an impression. The cotton fiber in Southworth Papers sends a message even before ink is applied. Its look and feel says quality, prestige and permanence. Yet Southworth cotton fiber paper’s compatibility with the latest electronic imaging techniques makes it the contemporary choice. However you choose to use it, cotton fiber paper is the start of something special. While it remains the paper of choice when you are concerned about image, cotton fiber performs well in a range of roles. While the richness of Southworth cotton fiber paper leaves a lasting impression, its strength and adaptability shouldn’t be overlooked. Cotton fiber paper’s natural composition makes it strong enough to stand up to complex printing processes and deliver consistent results.

Not only does paper with cotton content feel good, you can feel good about yourself for choosing Southworth cotton paper for your business and personal correspondence and important documents. Cotton is a natural fiber that is made from renewable and recovered materials. Cotton linters* are identified by government recycling standards as a recovered fiber, boosting cotton paper’s compliancy with most government contracts when combined with post consumer fiber.

*Cotton linters are used in the papermaking process. These are the short fibers that are not used in the textile industry, and as such would be discarded into the waste stream if not used in the making of cotton paper. This reduces the waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

back to top

Will cotton fiber paper work in my printer?

Yes. Advances in papermaking have kept pace with innovations in business equipment, making Southworth cotton fiber papers compatible with today’s most demanding printing technologies. New surface enhancements and finishes created especially for new office technology now brings a whole range of options within the reach of anyone with an office printer. Cotton fiber paper performs in a variety of applications. Whether you use delicate tones or saturate the page with bold color, you’ll get unmatched effects on bright, clean cotton fiber paper. As with any paper, for best results we advise that you reference the Print Settings recommended for your machine. It is recommended to use the Bond or Heavyweight paper setting for laser printers. For more details read this Laser Printer Troubleshooting article.

back to top

Why are fine papers watermarked?

The watermark on Southworth Papers is a sign of quality. It assures the user that the paper is a fine paper. The watermark generally will identify the manufacturer, the brand name and the amount of cotton fiber, if any, in the sheet. Through the use of a special roller called a “dandy roll”, the watermark is impressed inside the paper early in the manufacturing process. All Southworth cotton fiber papers are watermarked signifying their fine quality and distinction.

back to top

What are the security features of the watermark?

Southworth watermarked papers contain a date-code. The purpose of the date-code is to protect the integrity of the document that is printed on the paper from fraud. This is done by incorporating a special marker into the watermark. The position of the mark is usually changed annually and legal records are kept to document the date and its exact location. These marks are especially important for legal, accounting or government documents where the integrity of the document could be called into question.

back to top

What weight of paper should I use?

Fine papers are manufactured in various weights, commonly 32, 24, and 20 pound weights. The substance weight of fine writing paper is determined by the weight of 500 sheets of 17″ x 22″ paper before it is cut to the final 8 1/2″ x 11″ size. If the paper has been manufactured to a 20-pound specification, 500 sheets of this uncut paper will weigh 20 pounds. Four reams of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper can be cut from each of these uncut sheets. Therefore, a ream of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper will weigh 5 pounds (20 lbs. divided by four). The most common paper weight today is 20 lb. While Southworth Papers are available in 20 lb. weight, most of the papers are 24 lb. weight or higher, providing a more substantial feel and greater durability.

back to top

What is the difference between Writing and Text Weight?

Writing Weights are used to measure the weight of Southworth Papers because most of the paper made gets converted to 8 ½ X 11, or the traditional letterhead size. Writing Papers are often typically used for letterheads and stationery and tend to be of a higher quality often containing cotton fibers.

Paper Merchants use Text Weights for the paper they sell. These papers get converted to many different sizes for large and small printing presses. Text Paper was historically used to print text pages within books and reports.

Following is a handy reference to help you to make conversions between the two.

20 lb. writing (Southworth Papers) X 2.5 = 50 lb. text (paper merchant)

24 lb. writing (Southworth Papers) X 2.5 = 60 lb. text (paper merchant)

28 lb. writing (Southworth Papers) X 2.5 = 70 lb. text (paper merchant)

32 lb. writing (Southworth Papers) X 2.5 = 80 lb. text (paper merchant)

** To get from Paper Merchant weight to Southworth Papers weight divide by 2.5

back to top

What is Cover Stock?

Cover Stock includes a wide variety of fairly heavy papers, which can be made into covers for reports, catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, etc. Common weights are 65 lb. and 80 lb. with the word “Cover” typically following the number to differentiate them from Text or Writing weights.

back to top

What weight envelope should I use?

For paper that has a basis weight of 24 lb. or higher (many Southworth Papers fall into this category), the correct envelope is one of equal weight to the paper. The correct weight of a matching envelope for a paper of up to 20 lb. stock should be one step heavier than the paper. For example, the proper envelope to use with 20 pound paper would be an envelope made from 24 pound stock.

back to top

What is A4 Paper?

The metric system of measurement for paper is used primarily throughout the world, with notable exceptions being the United States, Canada and Mexico. Paper-size measured metrically uses the unit “millimeter,” with 25.4mm equaling one inch. The International Standards Organization (ISO) sets forth in its document ISO 216 a series of (metric) paper sizes, each element having a length-to-width ratio of 1.414. A most commonly used size is A4, which measures 210mm x 297mm. The substance weight or basis weight of paper measured metrically uses the unit “grams,” with the weight stated as “grams per square meter,” or g/m2. There is a full line of complementary high quality A4 papers and envelopes.

back to top

What is bond paper?

The term “bond” has no actual meaning in the manufacturing process. The term comes from WW I when war bonds were printed on cotton fiber papers that were extensively watermarked. The extensive watermark was used to protect buyers from bonds sold by counterfeiters (the first safety paper). Following the war, people who wanted a good quality paper would ask for paper like that “bond” paper. Thus, the term has become associated with high quality and generally when used by the end user means the user wants to buy a “Fine Paper” product.

back to top

What is wove paper?

A paper with a wove, or smooth, finish is one that has no specially manufactured texture. Oftentimes, paper with a smooth surface does not carry a finish designation. If there is no finish designation on a package of paper, you can assume it has a wove finish.

back to top

What is granite paper?

This is a smooth paper with a small amount of richly colored fibers which give it a natural speckled effect, resembling granite. Granite Specialty Paper is offered in a wide variety of weights and colors, with 25% cotton and 50% Post Consumer Recycled Fiber.

back to top

What is parchment paper?

It is thought that various forms of parchment were in use as early as 1500 BC. Parchment was originally made from the flesh side of animal skins. The skins were cooked in lime, stretched on a frame, scraped smooth to the desired thickness, sprinkled with chalk, rubbed smooth with a pumice stone and then dried. (The finishing process smoothed and softened the leather as well as improved on the color of the finished product.) Parchment is still used for some diplomas and public documents. However, most of what is called Parchment paper today is paper manufactured to emulate the look of original parchment. Southworth Parchment Specialty Papers reproduce the antique look and Old World elegance of original parchment paper.

back to top

What is laid paper?

Papers made with a laid finish are made to emulate paper as it looked when it was first invented. Laid is a textured finish consisting of a horizontal pattern and a vertical pattern known as “chain lines”. The texture is created by using a dandy roll to impress the pattern into the paper along with the watermark at the wet end of the manufacturing process. Laid papers project a very elegant and sophisticated image. Southworth Antique Laid and Private Stock® Laid Papers are two such distinct Laid offerings. The difference is in the width of the patterns.

back to top

What is linen paper?

Linen is a textured finish applied to paper by an embossing process done after the paper has been manufactured that has the look and feel of linen fabric. Generally, a linen finish is a very subtle texture that performs well in most laser and inkjet printers and copiers. Textured linen papers are available in a wide variety of weights and colors. Our Linen Business Paper is made of 25% cotton with 30% Post Consumer Recycled Fiber. Southworth Linen Résumé Papers are made of 100% cotton fiber.

back to top

Will embossed papers work in my printer?

Yes. All of Southworth embossed papers such as Linen Business Paper are compatible with laser, inkjet and copier machines when following manufacturer’s print settings.

back to top

What is “acid free” paper?

Paper which has no acid or residual acid-producing chemicals is called “acid free.” Papers that are “acid free” will resist yellowing and disintegration longer than sheets that are not acid free. This is particularly true as the percent of wood pulp in paper relative to the amount of cotton increases, since cotton papers are less likely to disintegrate or yellow than papers made of all or part wood pulp. Paper with a pH factor of “7″ or higher are considered acid free.

back to top

How long will my paper last?

Cotton is one of the strongest and most durable fibers known to man, and has historically been used for archiving purposes. Papers manufactured from cotton fiber will last longer and hold up better under repeated handling and various environmental conditions than paper made from wood pulp. Generally, given reasonable care, a consumer can expect one year of usable life for every 1% of cotton contained in the sheet. Paper made with 100% cotton content can be expected to live at least 100 years.

back to top

What is Post Consumer Fiber (PCF)?

Recycled Paper is paper that contains a percentage of recovered fiber. Post Consumer Fiber is fiber that comes from paper products that have reached the end consumer and were recycled back into the papermaking process. This could include paper, paperboard, and fibrous wastes from retail stores, office buildings, or homes. Typical examples are old newspapers and magazines. Reclaiming and incorporating PCF into the paper making process helps to extend the fiber supply, reducing pressure on forests, reducing mill emissions and cutting back on solid waste.

back to top

Are there Recycled papers in the Southworth Paper offering?

There are a number of Southworth Papers containing Post Consumer Fiber (PCF). See the following chart for a partial list that details the recycled content for each product grouping. And don’t forget that cotton is a 100% natural fiber that is made from renewable and recovered materials.

Cotton linters* are identified by government recycling standards as a recovered fiber, boosting cotton paper’s compliancy with most government contracts when combined with post consumer fiber.

?

Prod # Description Weight Color Finish Cotton# RecycledContent PCF
603C Recycled Paper 20 lb. White Wove 25% 75% 50%
554C Linen Business Paper 24 lb. White Linen 25% 55% 30%
564C Linen Business Paper 24 lb. Ivory Linen 25% 55% 30%
574C Linen Business Paper 24 lb. Gray Linen 25% 55% 30%
594C Linen Business Paper 24 lb. Natural Linen 25% 55% 30%
914C Granite Specialty Paper 24 lb. Gray Granite 25% 75% 50%
924C Granite Specialty Paper 24 lb. White Granite 25% 75% 50%
934C Granite Specialty Paper 24 lb. Ivory Granite 25% 75% 50%
P944CK Granite Specialty Paper 24 lb. Blue Granite 25% 75% 50%
P954CK Granite Specialty Paper 24 lb. Rose Granite 25% 75% 50%
41S Manuscript Covers 30 lb. Blue Smooth 25% 75% 50%
41SM Manuscript Covers 30 lb. Blue Smooth 25% 75% 50%
41SMN Manuscript Covers 30 lb. Blue Smooth 25% 75% 50%
358C Laser Paper 32 lb. White Smooth 25% 55% 30%
368C Laser Paper 32 lb. Ivory Smooth 25% 55% 30%

back to top

What is ECF?

There are Southworth Papers available that have been manufactured ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free). Chlorine has traditionally been used to give paper its white appearance and to remove lignin, an element of wood fiber that yellows paper. Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) papers are produced from pulp that has been bleached with a chlorine derivative such as chlorine dioxide, but without elemental chlorine. The use of ECF bleaching is an excellent technology choice for sustainable pulp and paper manufacturing. It eliminates the formation of dioxin, it allows for a greater yield of pulp, and it creates a stronger, more sustainable and recyclable product. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes elemental chlorine free (ECF) bleaching as a “best available technology.”

back to top

What is FSC®?

The Forest Stewardship Council™, or FSC®, is an independent, non-profit organization that has established a certification system to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. Chain of Custody certification provides the assurance that Southworth is maintaining a control system that tracks materials it sources from the forest to the end consumer, through all stages of transportation, manufacturing, and final distribution.

Many Southworth Papers have FSC® Chain of Custody certification including 25% Cotton Fiber Business Papers, 25% Cotton Recycled Paper, 25% Cotton Linen Business Paper, Metalo® Specialty Paper, Premium Laser Paper, New Leaf Resume, and New Leaf Business Paper products. Following is a list of Southworth products that have been certified to display the FSC® label.

FSC Promotional Panel

Please look for FSC® certified products

Item Number Description Weight Color Size Unit Content
403C Business Paper 20 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
P403C Business Paper 20 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 100/BX 25% Cotton
403CR Business Paper 20 lb. White/Red Ruled 8.5″X11″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
403E Business Paper 20 lb. White 8.5″X14″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
403ER Business Paper 20 lb. White/Red Ruled 8.5″X14″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
403ER BLUE NOTAR Business Paper 20 lb. White/Blue Ruled 8.5″X14″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
404C Business Paper 24 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
P404CK Business Paper 24 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 100/BX 25% Cotton
404IC Business Paper 24 lb. Ivory 8.5″X11″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
404NC Business Paper 24 lb. Natural 8.5″X11″ 500/BX 25% Cotton
P404NCK Business Paper 24 lb. Natural 8.5″X11″ 100/BX 25% Cotton
J404-10 Envelopes 24 lb. White No. 10 250/BX 25% Cotton
P404-10 Envelopes 24 lb. White No. 10 50/BX 25% Cotton
J404I-10 Envelopes 24 lb. Ivory No. 10 250/BX 25% Cotton
J404N-10 Envelopes 24 lb. Natural No. 10 250/BX 25% Cotton
Z430CK Cover Stock 65 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 100/BX 25% Cotton
603C Recycled Paper 20 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 500/BX 25% Cotton/50% PCF
348C Laser Paper 32 lb. Wicked White 8.5″X11″ 300/PK 25% Cotton
358C Laser Paper 32 lb. White 8.5″X11″ 300/PK 25% Cotton/30% PCF
368C Laser Paper 32 lb. Ivory 8.5″X11″ 300/PK 25% Cotton/30% PCF
P404N-10 Envelopes 24 lb. Natural No. 10 50/BX 25% Cotton
554C Linen Paper 24 lb. White 8.5”X11” 500/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
554CK Linen Paper 24 lb. White 8.5”X11” 100/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
J558C Linen Paper 32 lb. White 8.5”X11” 250/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
Z550CK Linen Cover 65 lb. White 8.5”X11” 100/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
P554-10 Linen Env. 24lb. White No. 10 50/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
J554-10 Linen Env. 24 lb. White No. 10 250/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
564C Linen Paper 24 lb. Ivory 8.5”X11” 500/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
P564CK Linen Paper 24 lb. Ivory 8.5”X11” 100/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
J568C Linen Paper 32 lb. Ivory 8.5”X11” 250/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
Z560CK Linen Cover 65 lb. Ivory 8.5”X11” 100/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
P564-10 Linen Env. 24 lb. Ivory No. 10 50/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
J56410 Linen Env. 24 lb. Ivory No. 10 250/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
574C Linen Paper 24 lb. Gray 8.5”X11” 500/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
J574-10 Linen Env. 24 lb. Gray No. 10 50/BX 25% Cotton/30% PCF
P853L Metalo Paper 31 lb. SilverDust 8.5”X11” 50/BX 30% PCF
P854L Metalo Paper 31 lb. ButterCream 8.5”X11” 50/BX 30% PCF
P855L Metalo Paper 31 lb. Spearmint 8.5”X11” 50/BX 30% PCF
P857L Metalo Paper 31 lb. SkyBlue 8.5”X11” 50/BX 30% PCF
P853LS Metalo Paper 31 lb. Assortment 8.5”X11” 50/BX 30% PCF
6126004 NL Resume Paper 24 lb. Natural 8.5”X11” 100/BX 100% PCF
6126005 NL Resume Paper 24 lb. White 8.5”X11” 100/BX 100% PCF
6126006 NL Resume Env. 24 lb. Natural No. 10 50/BX 100% PCF
6126007 NL Resume Env. 24 lb. White No. 10 50/BX 100% PCF
6126010 NL Business Env. 24 lb. White No. 10 50/BX 100% PCF
6126014 NL Business Paper 24 lb. White 8.5”X11” 100/BX 100% PCF

To view FSC® certified Southworth Paper products click on appropriate link below:

/business/25-cotton-business-paper/

/business/laser-paper/

/business/linen-business-paper/

/business/recycled-business-paper/

/business/100-recycled-business-paper/

/legal/25-cotton-legal-paper/

/legal/laser-paper/

/legal/25-cotton-pleading-paper/

/legal/recycled-business-paper/

/specialty/metalo-paper/

/resume/recycled-resume-paper/

back to top