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Getting Started With Scrapbooking: Paper Basics Continued

Have you ever wondered what acid free paper is? Why is that important for your projects? In part two of the paper basics series, we will learn about paper sizing, acidity, finishes. Selecting the right paper can enhance your scrapbooking layouts. Understanding different paper types can help you make informed decisions so you can choose paper that is going to be perfect for your paper crafting projects.

Paper Sizing

Paper sizing is a substance used on the surface or is incorporated into the paper pulp during the manufacturing process. In some cases, sizing can also be a paper finish. This is important to understand because it changes the characteristics of the paper. Paper can be sized to a variety of degrees or left wholly untreated. Paper sizing is added to make the paper more suitable for printing, increase durability, and increase preservation. Sizing can make the paper more water resistant so that inks don’t bleed or blur. Sized paper is better for printing applications. It is a good choice if using a print then cut feature on a Cricut or Silhouette. Watercolor paper is unsized and therefore is very absorbent. It is perfect for a scrapbooker who likes to use watercolors, texture paste, and ink in a scrapbooking layout.

Paper sizing is a substance used on the surface or is incorporated into the paper pulp during the manufacturing process. In some cases, sizing can also be a paper finish. This is important to understand because it changes the characteristics of the paper. Paper can be sized to a variety of degrees or left wholly untreated. Paper sizing is added to make the paper more suitable for printing, increase durability, and increase preservation. Sizing can make the paper more water resistant so that inks don’t bleed or blur. Sized paper is better for printing applications. It is a good choice if using a print then cut feature on a Cricut or Silhouette. Watercolor paper is unsized and therefore is very absorbent. It is perfect for a scrapbooker who likes to use watercolors, texture paste, and ink in a scrapbooking layout.

Paper Finish

During the manufacturing process a paper maker will decide to coat the paper with a finish. This can add a special touch to a paper. Finish affects the look and feel of the paper. Just like paper sizing, it can impact printability and absorbency. A glossy finish is shiny and reflects light. It will not absorb ink like copy paper does. It is prone to smearing inks. Specialty photo papers are glossy and highlight a photo’s details.  A matte finish does not have a reflective surface like a gloss finish. The colors on matte finishes are still vibrant and beautiful. Satin finishes have a sheen that is in between a gloss and matte paper. When creating a scrapbooking layout, the choice of paper finish is important. Gloss papers can create a focal point and emphasis. Matte papers are a good choice for backgrounds.

During the manufacturing process a paper maker will decide to coat the paper with a finish. This can add a special touch to a paper. Finish affects the look and feel of the paper. Just like paper sizing, it can impact printability and absorbency. A glossy finish is shiny and reflects light. It will not absorb ink like copy paper does. It is prone to smearing inks. Specialty photo papers are glossy and highlight a photo’s details.  A matte finish does not have a reflective surface like a gloss finish. The colors on matte finishes are still vibrant and beautiful. Satin finishes have a sheen that is in between a gloss and matte paper. When creating a scrapbooking layout, the choice of paper finish is important. Gloss papers can create a focal point and emphasis. Matte papers are a good choice for backgrounds.

Acid Free Paper

Did you know that wood naturally contains acid? The natural decomposition of Lignin in the plant cells causes the paper to become acidic and break down. The paper becomes brittle and yellows over time. Acidic paper can introduce acid to other items. This means that acid could migrate to a one-of-a-kind family photo and destroy it. Exposure to light can speed up this process. That is the last thing that a scrapbooker wants! Special processes are used to remove acid from the paper to make it archival quality. Acid free papers last up to 200 years under normal use and storage conditions. It is important to store photos, artworks, and family documents in acid free boxes. Scrapbookers who like to create mixed media embellishments should be careful to use acid free papers.

 Did you know that wood naturally contains acid? The natural decomposition of Lignin in the plant cells causes the paper to become acidic and break down. The paper becomes brittle and yellows over time. Acidic paper can introduce acid to other items. This means that acid could migrate to a one-of-a-kind family photo and destroy it. Exposure to light can speed up this process. That is the last thing that a scrapbooker wants! Special processes are used to remove acid from the paper to make it archival quality. Acid free papers last up to 200 years under normal use and storage conditions. It is important to store photos, artworks, and family documents in acid free boxes. Scrapbookers who like to create mixed media embellishments should be careful to use acid free papers.

Scrapbook paper is designed to be acid free and archival quality. All papers created exclusively for Country Craft Creations are acid free. When you use papers created for Country Craft Creations, you can rest easy knowing that your precious family memories will be preserved for generations to come. Understanding qualities of paper can help you decide what paper will be perfect for your projects. Check back next week as we continue to explore the basics of scrapbooking.

November 22, 2021 — Tamra Merrill

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