When deciding what kind of paper to print on, there is a lot to take into consideration; the differences between paper types are much more complex than they might seem. One of these differences is coated versus uncoated paper. What is the difference between the two, and what is so special about uncoated paper?

After paper has been produced, the paper maker can choose whether to add a coating to it or not. This coating is a very fine, smooth material that is similar to clay. It can be applied to the surface of the paper, either on one side or both, and it fills in the tiny pores of the paper. The coating affects the porosity of the paper, so paper will absorb less moisture if it is coated. This gives it a glossier look and feeling, which some people prefer.

Why do printers and businesses still use uncoated paper, then? Uncoated paper does have a number of advantages over coated paper and is commonly used for books, letterheads, envelopes, note-pads and a number of other paper products.

Uncoated paper has a slightly rougher, more textured feeling than coated paper. This textured feeling adds character to the paper and gives it an element of prestige and elegance. It appears much more traditional, as opposed to the modern look of coated paper. It is also available in a number of different textures and finishes, so it provides much more variety and versatility than coated paper does.

Because uncoated paper is more porous, it absorbs ink more readily. When it comes to coloured images, this can be detrimental to the appearance of the images as the edges are less defined. However, when it comes to printing text, a much greater level of definition and readability can be achieved by using uncoated paper, which is why books, newspapers and stationery are usually printed on uncoated paper. Uncoated paper also takes less time to dry because it absorbs the ink, so if you are printing large quantities with a fast turnaround, uncoated paper is a valuable choice to improve the efficiency of the job.

So, uncoated paper is the definite choice when printing heavily text-based jobs. Printing on uncoated paper will help to add a level of sophistication and quality to your printed materials.