What is a Cardstock Paper?

Be it a birthday card or a scrapbook page; you’ve definitely worked with cardstock paper at least once. It’s an essential item that enhances the aesthetics and beauty of your work and the object.

But, what is a cardstock paper? What makes it so special and different from the general paper we write on? How do we know when we should use a certain type of cardstock paper?

Today, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of cardstock paper and everything that concerns it.

Apart from just gaining knowledge, this will also give you a broader idea about the type of Cardstock you’ll need depending on your purpose and achieve optimum beautification.

What is a Cardstock Paper

History of Cardstock

Cardstock paper came into the scene a considerable time after the paper was invented.

The discovery of the conventional paper, which we use daily, actually happened in China around 105AD, by a person named T’saiLun.

The processing and upgrade of paper has only developed from then on, leading to various types of paper being produced for different purposes.

Around the 19th century, with the undeniable contributions of Matthias Koops, Friedrich Keller, and Charles Fenerty, a revolutionary method of processing paper using wood pulp was introduced.

Coupled with synthetic dye technique, the wood pulp paper processing method produced a certain thickness of paper known as the construction paper.

Construction paper was sturdy and strong enough to carry various items, especially confectionary items like sugar. But, on the other hand, it was also malleable enough to stay uptight as a bag and didn’t lose shape under heavy weight.

This construction paper, also known as sugar paper, is today’s cardstock paper. Nowadays, further modification in the manufacturing process produces cardstocks of much higher quality, with varying thicknesses and finishing.

What Is Cardstock Paper?

Cardstock paper is a heavier and sturdier form of the general paper we write on. But, at the same time, it’s also more feasible to change and has an aesthetic touch.

This type of paper’s weight ranges from 80 to 400 GSM and can be found in a huge combination of colors.

Also known as cover stock, it’s used in endless activities, unlike general paper, which is mainly used for writing only.

Cardstock is used in creative activities, from wedding and birthday cards to scrapbooks and photo albums.

What Is Cardstock Paper Used For?

Cardstock paper has an enormous range of uses and it’s increasing every day! So let’s take a brief look at the two key activities cardstock is most useful for.

Cardstock Paper in Paper Crafting

You have probably already noticed that cardstock paper comes with very flexible and foldable attributes. Combined with the fact that these are also available in a wide range of colors, this makes them extremely useful in paper crafting.

Paper crafting is building itself into one huge industry, and newer Cardstock uses can be seen every day.

You can create colorful and custom-designed scrapbooks of any size and number. Cardstock works excellently with glue, so your scrapbook pictures won’t wear out or fall off easily. Scrapbook journals and travel scrapbooks are becoming increasingly common uses of Cardstock.

Going a level above scrapbooks, lots of people also create small photo albums using this heavy paper, as it’s so much more convenient and simple.

Moreover, Cardstock can be easily cut into shapes and layered over one another.

This makes it a huge deal in creating unique designs to stick into cards and other crafting activities. For example, cardstock flowers have become very popular recently due to this simple yet awesome attribute.

People create various decorating items during festive seasons such as Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s using this paper to beautify their household.

Beautiful bookmarks and gift tags are also widely created using the cover stock, along with an endless number of DIY crafts.

Cardstock plays a huge part in the paper crafting industry and manufacturers are working harder every day to produce it in better quality and larger numbers.

Cardstock Paper in Card Making

Do you want to make a custom wedding card? Or maybe, a birthday card? Whatever it is, cardstock paper has definitely got you covered.

Being used since the beginning of its time, cardstock paper is an obvious choice in card making because of its variety of colors, aestheticism, and ease of designing.

The cards you find in shops are made using Cardstock too.

It works with glue and adhesives well, so you can use stickers and other crafts on the card. Cardstock paper can also be printed on and compatible with various crafting items, such as color pens, water/oil color, etc.

All these features contribute to making Cardstock the best choice for card making.

Types of Cardstock

Cardstock can be classified into different groups based on their attributes and features. In fact, you’ll find loads of different classifications as these characteristics vary a lot. However, we’ll take a look at the key ones today.

Based on Finishing

  • Cotton Cardstock – This Cardstock has an even and polished feel to the touch. It can be easily printed on with all kinds of printers and works great for wedding cards and photo albums.
  • Parchment Cardstock – Parchment paper is semi-opaque, one of the thinner ones in the cardstock family. It can be printed on as well and adds an elegant touch to any kind of crafting activity.
  • Decorated Cardstock – Adding creativity to paper crafting, this type of Cardstock comes in distinctive designs and patterns, such as blocks, mosaics, floral, and in various colors too.
  • Vellum Cardstock – With the varying transparency of this cover stock, it’s useful in beautifying photos, artistic cards, and graphical work. Printing on vellum paper is becoming more and more popular every day, although you have to do it with caution.
  • Bright-White Cardstock – Lastly, this paper is fully opaque and comes with no texture or designs. It’s basically for artists who want to start with a free canvas.

Based on Size

Cardstock is divided into four categories based on size.

  • 6 X 6 inches
  • 8 X 8 inches
  • 8 ½ X 11 inches
  • 12 X 12 inches

Based on Weight (GSM)

  • Less than 100GSM – Much similar to plain paper, this type of Cardstock is the optimum type for printers and works great with pencils, but not with wet markers.
  • Less than 140 GSM: Cover stock ranging in this weight is mainly used in placards and mini-advertisements.
  • Less than 300 GSM: Cardstock having this attribute are mostly used in tabloids as they’re much sturdier but can also be bent and curved.
  • Less than 400 GSM: This range of paper are the heaviest among the cardstock paper family. These are not easily flexible and are mostly used in different types of cards.

Based on Coating

  • Glossy – As the name suggests, this type of Cardstock has a polished and gleaming surface that makes it stand out.
  • Matte – Quite the opposite of glossy, matte Cardstock has a rather dim and dull surface, which won’t reflect light at all.
  • Canvas – It’s manufactured in a different manner using different types of fibers and wood pulp. This gives a special texture to the paper that can be felt with touch.
  • Iridescent – Coming with a unique kind of coating, this Cardstock changes colors with respect to the angle of observation based on the color spectrum of the coating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How is Card Stock made?

  • Card stock is made by combining fibers and wood pulp taken from both hardwood and softwood trees.
  • The fiber, which is mostly in liquid form, is poured into the paper-processing machine, which moves into a filtering unit.
  • The filter separates the liquid from the fibers, and the fibers constrict into a sheet due to lack of water.
  • This sheet is passed through various pressure and drying techniques, finally into the card stock.

2. How thick is Cardstock?

There are various thicknesses of Cardstock available in the market nowadays, and it ranges from 8 mils to 16 mils. Mils is a measurement equal to a thousandth of an inch. For example, 8 mils is 0.008 inches.

3. What Determines a Quality Card Stock?

Card stock quality is dependent on the quality of fibers and fillers used along with the paper-making process.

If the fibers don’t have enough strength or stability or the paper-making process isn’t taken care of, the Cardstock won’t serve your purpose and will be equivalent to plain paper.

4. What size should I choose for my Cardstock?

Depending on your purpose, you can choose any kind of Cardstock from a certain range. There are mainly four different sizes:

  • 6 X 6 inches
  • 8 X 8 inches
  • 8 ½ X 11 inches – mainly for card-making.
  • 12 X 12 inches – usually for photo albums and scrapbooks.

5. What are the benefits of using Cardstock?

Cardstock has multiple advantages over the plain paper in all aspects. We mention a few below.

  • Unlike normal paper, Cardstock looks aesthetic and gives a touch of professionalism for official as well as artistic work.
  • Cardstock is available in huge, distinctive collections, giving you a wide range of choices.
  • Cardstock lasts much longer than plain paper and has better water and scratch resistance.