envelope paper: what envelope paper is best for your needs

“Envelope Basics: Paper” is part of an occasional series called “Envelope Basics” that provides an in-depth look at all things envelopes – features, measurements, ordering tips and more*

It is important to know the different types of paper available and how their weights and grades relate to your campaign

Whether it’s a billing statement or direct mail, we make sure it’s all covered with our unwavering commitment to quality, innovation and excellence

Cover Weight

How Much Does a Typical Cover Weigh?

The most common envelope type, the #10 envelope, weighs about 675 grams when made with 20# paper

What is Basic Weight and How is it Calculated?

Basis weight, sometimes called substance weight, describes the collective weight of the fibers in the paper, calculated as the weight of 500 17” x 22” sheets

So an envelope made of 20# paper represents the weight of 500 17″ x 22″ sheets of that paper and not the 675 gram #10 envelope itself

In 2016, the USPS® changed the minimum paper base weight for automated mailings to 50 pounds or equivalent

If you are new to the mailing industry, it may seem like another language

If you’re a veteran of the mailing industry, you know that this requirement means using at least 20# wove paper to qualify for automated rates

Weighed Paper Caliper

Caliper is another way to determine tire weight

It is the measurement of the thickness or caliper of the paper and corresponds to the base weight:

There are six main types of paper grades used in envelope production: Wove, Surface Enhanced White Wove, Kraft, Recycled, Specialty, and Tear-resistant

Wove – Wove has short fibers, prints well, looks smooth, and is an economical choice

It is available in many weights and colors, and in its original form is known as bright bright paper (with a brightness level of 92)

This is a popular paper for both statement and direct mail senders

Surface Enhanced White Nonwoven – this paper is often called calendar paper, and is used for offset lithography printing

Surface enhanced white wove is very smooth and suitable for heavy ink designs

However, kraft paper does not print well due to its long fibers and would not be suitable for complex graphics or 4-color ink processes

Recycled – looking to create a green cover?

Using recycled papers for your envelopes is a great way to improve your sustainability

Commonly, recycled papers used in envelope production consist of 10 percent to 30 percent post-consumer material

Specialty – specialty papers are available in many colors, finishes, textures and weights

They are suitable for direct mail envelopes because of their interesting features, but they can come at a higher price

Tyvek and Protec covers are made from tear-resistant paper

Envelope Basics is a complete guide detailing everything you need to choose, measure and order the right envelope for your email campaign

Whether you’re an experienced mailer or new to the mail industry, Envelope Basics includes helpful tips for your business or organization

Download your copy of Cover Basics here

The paper you choose could help your job be successful

Exact cover and/or print specifications should be discussed in detail with your Sales Representative

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