Here is a description of the types of papers we work with for both letterpress and laser engraving.
WHAT KIND OF PAPER CAN YOU USE?
Letterpress: We use exclusively uncoated papers. We use both cotton and wood pulp papers. It's possible to print on text weight paper, but we recommend printing on at least 100lb cover weight paper to get a decent impression in the paper.
Laser: We can laser engrave on a wide variety of papers, both coated and uncoated stock, however we cannot always predict how the laser engraving process will react with the paper. Some paper engraves to a lighter color while others engrave darker. So we recommend you pay for a test to see the results of what your paper will look like prior to us engraving.
We can duplex (glue) different papers and materials together to create unique stationery. You can have a different color paper on the front vs back of the card, or you can have different colored paper sandwiched in the center (creating a similar look to edge-painting). Duplexing can be used for a variety of purposes and we utilize it creatively on a regular basis.
HOW THICK OF PAPER CAN YOU USE?
Letterpress: We can print on various thicknesses of paper depending on how soft the paper is. We have printed on cardboard, chipboard, wood, even thick duplexed paper close to 1/4" thick.
Laser engraving: We can engrave on very thick paper since we are able to fit items up to 4" thick in the laser. However we can only cut paper or other materials no thicker than 1/4". Depending on the material type, the typical engraving depth is maxed out at around 1/8" deep.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COTTON AND WOOD PULP PAPER
Cotton paper has a soft, pillow-like effect which works really well for letterpress because it easily takes a deep impression. You will get greater texture and more of the classic letterpress feel by using cotton papers. Wood pulp papers can also work but may restrict the letterpress impression since they are typically more dense than cotton papers. Both paper types can work with laser engraving.
WHAT PAPERS DON’T WORK WELL?
Letterpress: We don't recommend using coated papers. The inks do not absorb into the paper well and therefore don't allow a deep impression. Also heavily textured or embossed papers can create a rougher, less legible print.
Laser engraving: Most papers work well but some will show more burning than others. Typically white or lighter colored papers show more burning than darker papers. The amount of burning that's produced is based on many factors such as engraving depth, paper type and artwork. If you are concerned about the level of burning we suggest running a test on a sample sheet. Please contact us for a paper testing quote.
PRINTING ON COATED PAPERS
We do not letterpress print on coated paper stocks.
PRINTING ON WOOD OR OTHER MATERIALS
We can print on thin wood, and other unique materials such as leather, cardboard, fabrics, etc. Each item is unique and may require certain parameters or have limitations that can be discussed upon ordering. If you're looking to print on a unique material then contact us and we can see if it can be done and any restrictions or alignment issues that may be a factor.