This is part nineteen of a series called One a Day in May, where we will review one wedding stationery term every day in May!
When you start looking at types of paper to use for your wedding stationery it’s very easy to fall down a rabbit hole and find yourself completely overwhelmed by the options. Even an avid DIY-er can be paralyzed by all the choices and information out there. In professional stationer circles there are a few “favorite” choices that we will focus on today. These are the most used options and they have specific uses that allow each of them to really shine within your stationery suite.
Smooth: Smooth paper finish refers to paper that has been passed through a set of rollers (which is called “calendaring”) to produce a clean, un-textured finish. Smooth paper is always a great choice for printing text or for sketching and creating line drawings.
Vellum/Eggshell: This can be a little confusing because there is actual vellum paper, which is translucent and often used as an overlay on other cards because it is so thin (it can be printed on though, which creates a really pretty effect for laying over your actual invite!). But in terms of finishes, vellum or eggshell finish paper refers to a paper that has a slight tooth or texture (if you could look with a magnifying glass at vellum finish you’d see tiny peaks and valleys on the paper, like on an eggshell!). It’s good for sketching, like smooth finish paper, but the slight texture makes it an even better choice for artwork that involves charcoal or oil pastels and watercolor because the texture in the paper adds depth to the sketch and layers to any color applied.
Felt: Toothy, rough nap, textured, these terms mean basically the same thing and they are always used in describing felt finish paper. Traditionally, felt paper was made by applying a piece of felt to the wet paper pulp once it was laid out to dry. When the felt was removed the result was a piece of paper with a felt-like texture. Nowadays felt finish, (along with other specialty finishes like laid, woodgrain, canvas, etc.) is achieved by rolling the wet paper with rubber marking rolls. Felt finish paper is particularly nice to paint or watercolor on because the texture adds so much depth and character. However, the same texture can interfere with precise printing or fine line-drawing.
May 19, 2021