What is the Difference Between Coated and Uncoated Paper?

In manufacturing, all paper starts out uncoated. Paper is made out of bleached wood fibers, fillers, clay and caulk fillings. At the end of the papermaking machine, it‘s sometimes covered in a white clay or clay and caulk filler which covers up the small crevices, making it fairly smooth.

This coating creates a sheet less porous, than uncoated paper. In the printing process, a coated paper therefore doesn’t absorb inks as much as an offset or uncoated stock. When the inks aren’t absorbed, they stay on the top of the paper, thus looking more glossy. This makes the images, type and photographs look sharper.

Coated stocks are not always glossy, and are available in a variety of finishes such as dull, matte or silk. These finishes make it easier on the eye for reading long type passages. Unfortunately the inks also look less glossy as a result.

Uncoated papers (such as copier paper) due to the fibers of the wood and other fillers, are rough compared to the coated stocks. Uncoated stocks are classified as bonds, offsets, card, newsprint, etc. These papers are very porous and soak up much larger quantities of ink. Uncoated stocks have a tendency to dry faster to the touch, as the ink is absorbed into the porous paper. Uncoated stocks are easier to write on as the surface accepts the ink more readily than a coated stock.

Printers often recommend glossy stock for brochures with pictures and other attractive design elements that you want to draw attention to.

A matte, dull or silk stock is best for literature that needs to be read, as it is easier on the eye.

An uncoated stock is best for material that needs to be filled out by the recipient. It’s also great to use when going for a “natural” or more “earthy” look.

We have hundreds of samples of different types of paper here at Clear Print for you to see. We’re located in the San Fernando Valley, not far from Simi Valley, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Burbank, Santa Clarita and Los Angeles. If you’d like to see some samples please call or come in.

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