This week's Blast from the Past edition is from the May 2005 Stampin' Success magazine archive and it is all about our cardstock. Paper Possibilities (Stampin' Accessories pp. 6-8) is an interesting read. I am unaware whether processes have changed over the past twelve years.
Paper Paper Paper
Paper is one of our Stampin' Basics - but what do you know about Stampin' Up!'s paper?
"Some of the characteristics that help determine the quality of card stock are thickness, weight, and stiffness (also known as snap). Paper thickness is measured by a micrometer, which measures paper in thousandths of inches. Stampin’ Up!’s card stock usually measures between 12 and 13 thousandths of an inch. A second characteristic is weight. Some papers may be thick but not heavy. Paper weight is determined by how much 500 basic sheets of the paper weigh. For card stock, a basic sheet measures 20 inches by 26 inches, and the weight of 500 of these sheets is 80 pounds. Finally, even if card stock has a nice, heavy weight and measures a substantial thickness, it may still feel inferior if it does not have enough snap. Card stock with good snap is neither too stiff nor too flimsy. At Stampin’ Up!, we have established standards for weight, thickness, and snap, as well as color. Some colors are more difficult to produce to a standard in all of these areas. You may discover this if some colors of card stock crack when you fold them to make cards or other projects. If this is the case, simply score the card stock first, then fold. You should end up with a perfect finished product."
Is color critical?
Is there more to Stampin' Up!'s cardstock than thickness, weight, and stiffness? Yes, the color of the cardstock is also critical because it needs to co-ordinate consistently with the ink, embellishments, and Designer Series Papers. So how is the paper made?
"The card stock creation process begins with wood pulp, water, dye, and extra pre-consumer paper from previous runs (called broke) all being blended in a large mixer the size of a room. When all the ingredients are adequately combined, they are poured onto a large moving screen. As the screen shakes, the water drains out of the mixture, the fibers pull together, and the card stock slowly forms. This primitive form of card stock then moves through a series of drums (about 100 yards long) where it is dried, wet again, and dried again until card stock emerges in its final form."
Stampin' Up! Processes
Stampin’ Up! uses five different paper mills around the world to produce card stock with a number of controls in place. Strict measures based on high standards ensure the integrity of the colored card stock.