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This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of paper and card, looking at the different types and finishes available, size and weight comparisons in your crafting, and we even touch upon card blanks and envelope measurements!
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
|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!