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Paper and Card Weights

Product descriptions always include the weights of paper and card as this indicates its sturdiness. This weight is generally referred to as "gsm" (‘grams per square metre’) – how many grams there are in one square metre of that sheet. Paper has a lower gsm, while card has a higher gsm.

Common paper weights range from 80gsm to 170gsm – anything above is entering the card weight region. If you're an avid card maker and love using heavy embellishments, you may prefer to use a heavier weight cardstock to ensure your design can stand up under the strain. However if you'd prefer to incorporate fun little paper decorations, a lighter weight may be more ideal.

Below is a little chart giving examples of what each weight is generally used for.

Paper and Card Weights Chart

Weight Typical Uses
80 - 100gsm Copy Paper, Printer Paper
120 - 170gsm Parchment Paper, Premium Printer Paper, Card Inserts, Luxury Paper Pads, Background Papers, Foiled Papers, Envelopes
200 - 250gsm Average Weight Card, Stamping Card, Embossed Card, Mirror Card, Printing Card, Decoupage Sheets
260 - 290gsm Pearlescent Card, Topper Sheets, Designer Card, Kraft Card, Card Blanks
300 - 350gsm Heavyweight Card, Luxury Card Inserts, Hammered Card, Centura Pearl Card, Luxury Designer Card, Luxury Topper Sheets, Decoupage Sheets

At a higher weight, a second measure is sometimes used to indicate the thickness of a sheet: 'mics', or 'microns' (one micron is equivalent to 1/1000 of a millimetre). This measurement isn't often used as it tends to confuse matters – a higher gsm doesn't necessarily mean a higher amount of microns as that specific sheet could have a raised or embossed texture. The most common use of microns when explaining thickness is in reference to vellum – 220mics signifies a good vellum weight!

Printer Paper 80 - 100gsm Envelope 120 - 170gsm Average Weight Card 200 - 250gsm
Designer Card 260 - 290gsm Centura Pearl Card 300 - 350gsm

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