Paper Printing Knowledge

Common Types | Weights and Grades

Common Types

Envelopes can be made up of many different types & color of paper. The standard stock envelopes are made up of material best suited to the use of that envelope but most any type of envelope can be custom made from any special stock you request. Custom orders sometimes require a minimum order quantity and are generally more expensive than a stock envelope. Consult your supplier for special requirements.

Shown below are brief descriptions of some of the most common types of paper used for envelopes.

Wove - Moderately opaque and provides a good surface to print on. Available in 16 lb., 20 lb., 24 lb., 28 lb., 32 lb., and 40 lb.

Kraft - It is noted for its strength but has a coarser finish than wove paper and does not print as well.

Manila - Not as strong as kraft but has a better printing surface. Lighter in color than brown kraft.

Text - High quality paper that is available in finishes such as antique, vellum, smooth and embossed. Often used when the mailing and envelope need to match.

Writing - A wide variety of high quality papers from 25% cotton fiber to laid and linens. Used to provide a professional image. As with text stock, it is used when mailing material and envelopes have to match.

Tyvek® - A spunbonded olefin which is made from a sheet of high density polyethylene fibers bonded together under heat & pressure.

Tyvek® material is very durable, lightweight, water and chemical resistant, non-abrasive, flexible and acid free.

Recycled - Any paper that is made up of a certain percentage of recycled material. Generally, at least 50% of the paper content is from recycled materials.

Board - Heavy gauge board stock used on catalog and expansion envelopes. Used when content of the envelope can not get bent. Used for mailing or storage of such items as CD's, diskettes, pictures, artwork, negatives and plates.

Paper Weights and Grades Used on Standard Envelopes


Std. Weight

Usage Description


16 lb.

Lightweight wove is used on air mail envelopes to help keep postage costs down for overseas mail. Available in white.


20 lb.

Used on commercial envelopes when durability and opacity are not a concern. Available in white.


24 lb.

Most commonly used envelope stock. Used for commercial, official, banking, remittance, announcement, booklet, catalog and many other miscellaneous types of envelopes. Available in in many colors, such as white, canary, pink, blue, green, gold, cream, ivory, tan, natural, and gray. It is also available in special colors like cherry, peach, orchid and salmon.


28 lb.

Used on the larger commercial envelopes, such as #11's, #12's, and #14's. It is also used on booklet and catalog envelopes when a better printing surface is required. Available in white.


28 lb.

Most commonly used weight of kraft. Used mostly on booklet and catalog envelopes. Available in white, brown and gray. Some special colors are also available, such as blue, green, canary, pink and orange. Brown kraft is also available in 24 lb.


32 and 40 lb.

Used on booklet and catalog envelopes when added durability and strength are needed. It is also used on expansion envelopes. Available in white, brown and gray.


28 lb.

Used when a better printing surface than kraft is needed. It is light ecru in color.


14 lb.

Mostly used on commercial, booklet, catalog and expansion envelopes. It is used when extreme durability is required. Available in white. It is also available in 18 lb.


24 lb.

Available for commercial, booklet, and catalog envelopes. Available in white board and brown board.

Board Mailer

.026 board gauge

Used on catalog mailers and expansion envelopes. Available in white board and brown board.


24 lb./70 lb.

Used on commercial, booklet and catalog envelopes when a high quality paper in needed, usually matches mailing content. Many grades, finishes and colors are available.

Note: If your envelope is going to be imprinted through a laser printer, be sure the stock is laser compatible. If the envelope is preprinted, be sure heat resistant ink is used.


Back to Top

More Envelopes >>

Additional search results for:
Types of Paper
Security Paper
Writing Paper
Wove Paper
Web Paper
Virgin Paper
Vellum Paper
Uncoated Paper
Uncalendered Paper
Translucent Paper
Thermal Paper
Text Paper
Tag Paper
Enter keywords to search
PrintingTips.Com Knowledge
Print Preparation
Print Products
Continuous Products
Direct Mail
Planning and Design
Component Development
Design Features
Printing Processes
Custom Design
Integrated Products
Single Sheet Products
Copy and Artwork Development
Direct Mail Services
Planning Guide
Integrated and Affixed
Laser Sheets
Single Sheet Products
Unit Sets
Features of Interest
Featured Ad
Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy |  Site Map |  Index |  Contact Us
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.
Copyright 2024 Tecstra Systems, All Rights Reserved, PrintingTips.Com

Paper -

Printing Tips Home Customer Service Knowledge Glossary Printing Tips Home