Paper Textures and Finishes: A Complete Guide

Paper Textures and Finishes: A Complete Guide

Shopping for paper online is a bit of a catch-22. It's convenient, but unfortunately there is no way to tell what the paper looks and feels like until it is physically in your hands. That's why we will break down all the different paper textures and finishes here. Hopefully we will make your online shopping experience a bit easier!

There are four different types of paper textures: smooth, embossed, uncoated, and coated. Each type of texture has multiple paper styles. Paper textures the JAM way!

Guide to paper textures


There are three basic paper styles that fall under the smooth category:  wove, smooth & vellum. They typically have no raised ridges or watermarks. smooth paper texture   smooth paper texture   smooth paper texture Wove - This style of paper is very smooth and doesn't have watermarking or any type of ribbed detailing. During the paper-making process the paper maker uses a brush with woven wires that creates this smooth surface.  This is what is used by most printing paper. It's important to note that if a pack of paper does not specifically say the type of finish it has, you can assume it is a wove finish. Smooth -  This style of paper is created by running paper through sets of rollers. The paper pulp is flattened over and over again by rollers creating one ream of smooth paper. Vellum - Vellum is a type of finish applied to all purpose paper. It has an egg shell look and feel and is very durable. This style of paper appears to be smooth but has a subtle roughness making it a little rougher then smooth paper. Vellum paper is made naturally from pure cellulose fibers. It is also recyclable and acid-free. Check out our wove paper here. Check out our smooth paper here. Check out our vellum paper here.


Embossed paper consists of paper that has raised detailing that can be both seen and felt. embossed paper texture   embossed paper texture  embossed paper texture Linen - Linen paper looks and feels like much like the linen fabrics in your home. Chances are that nice linen tablecloth you use for Thanksgiving has a similar raised crosshatch pattern. Linen texture paper is frequently used for when you want an elegant look. It looks great on personal stationery, business letterhead, and restaurant menus. Some people even use it for business cards! Linen paper is made from the flax plant. Laid - The laid finish also gives the paper the look and feel of a quality hand-crafted paper from ages ago. This is a type of finish that is applied to the paper during the paper-making process. While the paper is still wet, the paper roller is pressed against the wet pulp, creating fine lines running the length of the paper. The paper features raised horizontal and vertical lines, also known as "chain lines." Again, this type of finish works well with personal stationery, business letterhead, high-quality menus, and business cards. Pinstripe - This paper has a ribbed texture. Long ribbed lines run parallel down the length of the paper, giving it like its name suggest subtle pinstripe markings. These are lovely paper textures. Check out our linen paper here. Check out our laid paper here. Check out our pinstripe paper here.


Uncoated paper simply means that there is no coating applied to the paper. uncoated paper texture   uncoated paper texture Parchment - Parchment paper, sometimes referred to as marble paper, has a bit of of a rough texture. It is made by running paper pulp through a bath of chemicals breaking down the papers compounds. This process gives the paper a smooth marble like texture. Good for certificates, menus, personal stationery, and newsletters. Cockle - This paper has a handmade, uneven appearance. It is created by drying paper under minimum amount of tension causing the paper to ripple. Check out our parchment paper here.


Coated paper is paper that has a layer of coating applied to it. It can be used to improved brightness & durability or even add color & shine to paper. coated paper texture  coated paper texture   coated paper texture Foil/Metallic - This paper has a thin film of plastic or metal in the same color as the base paper. This film creates a shinny, smooth coating. Stardream - This paper finish comes in three verities (metallic, iridescent and pearlescent). All finishes are relatively smooth to the touch, but have a shimmery coating. Glossy - This paper texture is very smooth. One side of the paper can be uncoated and rough while the other is coated with a surface gloss. This gives it a shiny coating. Check out our foil/metallic paper here. Check out our stardream paper here. Check out our glossy paper here. Whether you are looking to buy laid paper for scrapbooking  or glossy paper for creating a brochure, understanding the paper textures and finishes can help when selecting paper online.

Understanding Paper Textures and Finishes

When it comes to paper products, the texture and finish play a crucial role in the overall look and feel of the final product. Paper textures can range from smooth to rough, while finishes can be glossy, matte, or even metallic. Understanding these elements is essential for anyone involved in the design and printing industry. Different textures and finishes can evoke different emotions and convey different messages, making them an important consideration for any project. Whether you're creating wedding invitations, business cards, or promotional materials, the right texture and finish can make all the difference in the final product's appearance and impact.

The Benefits of Different Paper Textures and Finishes

Choosing the right paper texture and finish can elevate the overall quality and appearance of your printed materials. A textured paper can add depth and dimension to your design, while a glossy finish can make colors appear more vibrant and eye-catching. Matte finishes, on the other hand, can give a more sophisticated and elegant look to your printed materials. Understanding the benefits of each texture and finish can help you make informed decisions that align with your design goals and target audience.

Use Cases for Different Paper Textures and Finishes

Different paper textures and finishes are suitable for different types of projects. For example, a textured paper with a matte finish may be ideal for wedding invitations, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication. On the other hand, a glossy finish can make promotional materials stand out and grab attention. Understanding the use cases for different textures and finishes can help you choose the right option for your specific project.

Alternatives to Traditional Paper Textures and Finishes

While traditional paper textures and finishes are popular choices, there are also alternative options available. For example, metallic finishes can add a unique and eye-catching element to your printed materials, making them stand out from the crowd. Additionally, specialty textures such as embossed or debossed papers can add a tactile and luxurious feel to your designs. Exploring alternative options can help you create truly unique and memorable printed materials.

Tips for Using Paper Textures and Finishes

When using paper textures and finishes, it's essential to consider the overall design and intended message of your printed materials. Experimenting with different combinations of textures and finishes can help you find the perfect match for your project. Additionally, it's important to consider the practical aspects, such as how the paper will hold up during handling and mailing. By following these tips, you can make the most of paper textures and finishes to create impactful and visually stunning printed materials.

Exploring the World of Paper Textures and Finishes

From understanding the benefits and use cases to exploring alternative options and practical tips, the world of paper textures and finishes is vast and full of possibilities. By delving into this complete guide, you can gain valuable insights that will help you make informed decisions and create stunning printed materials that leave a lasting impression.


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