Trees & Fibers Used in Art Paper

forest photo

What types of trees and wood fiber are used to make art paper?
Traditional art papers are made from either wood and/or cotton fibers. Wood fibers come from two basic types of trees: hardwood trees and softwood trees. Hardwood trees produce short, dense fibers that deliver strength. Hardwood trees typically have leaves and include maple,elm, birch, aspen and poplar. Softwood trees produce long fluffy fibers necessary for bulk. These trees typically have needles versus leaves and include pine, spruce, cedar and fir.
Most papers use a combination of fibers from hardwood and softwood trees. Since strength, especially surface strength, is an important attribute of fine art papers, our wood-pulp papers have high levels of fibers from hardwood trees. Wood fibers naturally contain lignin which is tree sap. If not removed, lignin deteriorates paper and turns it yellow and brown. Lignin is removed from the wood pulp of our papers prior to the papermaking process. The wood pulp we use for our papers does not come from slow growth trees.

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