Since paper was invented, humans have consistently exploited this medium to conform to the needs and requirements of this fast-changing world. Many have developed more specialized kinds that meet the demands of the society. Today, there is a wide variety of paper available in the market and you should be able to find the appropriate one necessary for a particular purpose.
Here is a list of the most common types catering to an individual’s needs:
1. Water color paper has been present even before the discovery of papermaking
in China. However, western watercolors were developed in the late 1750’s by James Whatman. He was responsible for the introduction of fine wire papermaking screen, which was called wire cloth. The usage of his type of screen resulted to production of newly formed paper named the “wire” paper. This type of paper was used in printing. He later on discovered that certain textures could be imparted when wet paper surface is pressed. Primarily he adapted the hard size (alum-gelatin sizing) for watercolor papers since sizing is a necessity for the color stay property of the paper’s surface. But due to acidity problem of alum, Strathmore developed a 100 percent cotton watercolor paper with Aquapel, a new synthetic sizing. Today, watercolor papers are available in different sizes, weights and packages. But there are only three variations of finishes: hot pres, cold press and rough finish. Hot press finishes results to a smooth vellum surface. It is excellent for drawing materials, pen, ink, brush and airbrush. Cold press finish is semi rough and is most ideal finish for beginners. It works well with charcoal, pastel and paint sticks. Rough finish is the less expensive watercolor paper. It is effective with acrylic, paint stick and some pastels.
2. Drawing papers are graphite permeable and must be durable to erasures. A paper that doesn’t ink blot and color absorption free is an effective drawing paper. There are five basic groups of drawing papers: bristol, charcoal and pastel, sketching, bond paper and graphics paper. Bristol is the strongest, most durable and considered an all-purpose drawing paper. It comes in two finishes, the plate and vellum. Charcoal and pastel are interchangeable. It has two basic finishes: laid and irregular. Finishes and color of the paper affects the drawing. Sketching paper is less durable than Bristol. It is primarily used for pencil, crayon and oil pastel. Its most common colors are white and off white. Bond papers are known as ledger bond or layout bond. It is close to Bristol type of finish with vellum layout. Graphics paper is generally sold as rag bonds. Graphic paper is known as marker paper or translucent and bright white paper.
3. Another common type of paper is the print paper. It is available in different sizes, quality and content. It may either be handmade, mould-made or machine-made. Some are used for drawing and painting but is not as durable because of its softer surface.
4. The fourth type of paper is the visualizing paper. It includes rag and non-rag tracing papers and graphic papers. It is presented in transparent designs. Non rag tracing paper is known as sulfite. Expensive sulfite is known as vellum and used in final drawings of engineers and drafters. Inexpensive sulfite is known as sketch paper and is used in preliminary drawings. Rag tracing paper is transparent due to oil and resin components. It is usually not influenced by moisture.
5. Specialty paper include interleaving or separation sheets, transfer paper, stencil paper, calligraphy, coated, cover and decorative. Interleaving or separation sheets are neutral acidic and nonabrasive papers. It is used for artwork isolation and protection. Transfer paper is like graphite or carbon paper. It is use to transfer drawing to another surface. Stencil paper is either waxed or oiled for buckling resistance. Calligraphy is pen and ink paper that is scratch and wrinkle free. Coated paper is used for bookbinding, printing and presentations. Cover paper is medium weight used for magazine and catalogue cover. Decorative includes printed, marbled and folk paper.
6. Another type is the oriental paper that is highly absorbent, thin and uses natural vegetable adhesive mucilage. It is available in handmade or machine made variety.
Whatever your objective is, you are sure to find the right kind of paper perfect for the job.