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What is cardstock?

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Quick Answer

Card stock is a special type of paper that is heavier than standard paper. Different types of card stock are made out of different fibers and come in various colors and sizes.

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All paper is measures in two main ways: the thickness of an individual sheet and the weight of sheets. The easiest way to identify card stock is to look at the weight, most commonly expressed in grams per square meter. Cardstock has a weight starting at 100 gsm and goes up to 200 gsm or higher, compared to standard paper which has a weight of 35 to 99 gsm. Another way to identify cardstock is through the type of fibers used. Most cardstock is made of paper pulp, which results in some visible pulp and a somewhat uneven texture. Other materials used for the production of cardstock include vegetable fiber, hemp fibers and kenaf, which is processed from the Hibiscus plant.

Several manufacturers have lines of cardstock specialized for specific needs. For example, velum cardstock has an opaque appearance and is commonly used as inserts for event invitations or place settings. Glossy cardstock has an added coating on one or both surfaces, making it ideal for use in printing images or personal photos.

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