Paper – a material more valuable than gold?

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

The role of paper cannot be overestimated. Although today we increasingly use books, newspapers and other materials in digitized form, life without paper is impossible.

It is the primary form for recording content: whether poems by poets, school textbooks or official documents. Paper works well in many everyday situations, so it is worth taking a look at what the main types and functions of paper are.

Division of paper

The main parameters by which types of paper differ are its grammage and grade. Grammage is the main determinant of the hardness of paper. It is expressed in the number of grams per square meter. The higher the grammage, the more difficult it is to bend or tear the sheets.

Based on grammage, paper is divided into:

  • tissue paper: (the thinnest paper material) and blotting papers
  • paper proper: commonly used on a daily basis for writing and printing posters, documents and other materials, such as advertising
  • cardboards: although their bending and forming capabilities are limited, they can be printed on
  • cardboards: used in packaging; they are designed for digital printing only

Class is a designation indicating the durability of the paper. Class I and II paper is used for banknotes and important documents. Class III (cellulose paper) is used in the production of school notebooks and documents intended for frequent use. Class IV denotes special prints. Class V and VI sheets are used for book printing, and the last class VII is exclusively for newspaper printing.

Paper - a material more valuable than gold?
Paper – a material more valuable than gold?

Additional properties of paper, especially important for printing, are thickness, opacity (determines the degree to which the paper pierces the printed content on the other side), and whiteness and brightness.

Paper materials

There is a wide range of paper materials available in stationery stores, which differ in their properties and, consequently, in their application. In addition to drawing papers, the selection of which in these stores is the largest (these are drawing blocks, cut-outs, sketchbooks, carbon paper) we also have:

  • offset paper – this popular type of paper is used for creating documents. It absorbs ink well, can also be printed several times and is suitable for handwriting. It is used to create certificates, notebooks and business documents.
  • Chalk paper – is characterized by a smooth, glossy and pleasant to the touch surface due to the fact that it is coated with a layer of a mixture of pigment and glue. It is suitable only for one-time printing and is difficult to write on by hand. It is used in the advertising industry, as well as in the production of business cards, offer folders or catalogs in printing and printing houses.
  • Decorative papers – use different grammages. Among them you can find smooth papers (including cotton), embossed, metallized, pearl or transparent papers. A specific structure is distinguished by handmade paper.
  • Ecological papers – papers made from recycled materials are gaining popularity.

Paper and its purpose

Due to the structure of paper materials, there are also different groups of paper, which are used in various fields. These include printing, packaging, electrical or industrial-technical papers. Depending on their usefulness, the types of these groups are also distinguished: printing paper for newspapers or books, paper for sheet metal wrapping. Papers can also be refined by coating them with an additional layer – in addition to the already mentioned chalking, we also have gumming or paraffining. They can also be saturated with oils or paraffin, laminated (used for packaging) or printed as in the case of wallpaper.

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