Paper is one of those things that seems simple until you need to pick just one. There are hundreds of thousands of types of paper: different colors, materials, weights, textures, and finishes. All these characteristics impact the final look of your invitation, so it’s important to know just what you’re getting. I’m going to give a brief overview of the options I offer, but nothing compares to holding the paper in your own hands. Make sure to order an invitation sample pack to see them yourself!
Paper is one of the key elements in your wedding invitation suite, and there are a few characteristics that differentiate papers from one another.
Paper is available in a myriad of colors, but for most invitation orders you’ll be looking for something in the “white” family.
I’ve selected two shades of white for Banter & Charm’s signature papers: Fluorescent White (a crisp, brilliant white that glows) or Pearl White (a warmer, natural hue with warm undertones). These white cotton papers are manufactured especially for letterpress and foil stamping. There are near identical versions of both papers available for flat printing.
In addition to the signature white papers, choose a colored paper from any of the swatches shown on Banter & Charm’s color guide.
My favorites? Stone (a warm gray Italian made paper), Blush (another Italian made paper in barely-there pale rose), Wine (a smooth and rich burgundy color), and Navy (a rich dark blue). Black paper is another popular option (it is absolutely stunning paired with gold foil stamping!), but you can’t go wrong with white ink on shimmery copper cardstock or classic black ink on ecru paper.
All these colored stocks are perfect for screen printing with a metallic ink or white ink. White ink flat printing or foil stamping truly pops on the darker shades, and the soft Blush and Stone papers are ideal for letterpress.
One of the most befuddling paper terms is the “weight” of the paper. This number (usually expressed in pounds – 110#, 118#, etc) refers to the weight of a stack of 500 pieces of that paper. So the higher the number, the heavier the paper.
Flat printing, letterpress, and foil stamping are offered on 110# and 220#. The 220# papers are also called “double thick” or “2-Ply” because they are as thick as two pieces of 110# paper. Screen printing is available on a variety of paper weights, and the paper can be duplexed (two pieces of paper are laminated into a single sheet) to achieve an extra thick paper weight.
When you run your fingers across a piece of paper you’ll notice immediately if it’s smooth or rough to the touch. While smooth papers are great for screen printing, I prefer a stock with a bit of texture to it for all other printing processes. The 100% cotton papers on the left have a soft, luxurious feel to them. This texture adds depth to flat print invitations and is perfect for showing off the impression from letterpress or foil stamping. The Stone and Blush Italian made papers have a distinct texture that adds a lavish feel.
Many papers are made from trees, or from recycled materials, but the house white papers I’ve selected are made from natural cotton fibers. The cotton gives the paper a soft, luxurious feel. It’s supple, which enhances the impression from letterpress or foil stamping. These 100% cotton papers are tree-free and made from fibers reclaimed from the garment industry.
Paper can have a variety of finishes, but the main options are glossy (like a shiny photo print), metallic or shimmer (will have a subtle shimmer to them), or matte (no shine). Metallic papers are especially great for envelope liners or belly bands. Looking for something extra sparkly? There are glitter (yes, real glitter!) papers available too!
Now that you have a basic understanding of the different paper characteristics, I hope that makes choosing the right one for your stationery a little easier! But nothing compares to seeing and feeling the papers yourself! Samples of Banter & Charm’s house paper options are included in each invitation sample pack . Still not sure which to choose? Feel free to get in touch and I’ll gladly provide guidance and personalized advice!