How is paper manufactured?

Paper: without it, many printed things cannot be, well – printed! In this series of posts, we’ll take a look at the three most common types of paper manufacturing: coated papers; uncoated papers, and finally, specialty papers.


As I was doing my research, I located this wonderful video from Sappi Paper, and it gives a very thorough and enlightening explanation of how paper is manufactured.

In a quick synopsis, paper is manufactured by taking wood fibers (for virgin papers) or recycled paper pulp, using water to turn it into a thick paste-like substance, and then through a manufacturing process that has the wet pulp running through a series of large rollers, turning it into paper. Once it is finished and mounted on large and extremely heavy rolls, it is placed once more into a process that applies the coating, be it gloss, matte, silk, dull, etc. Finally, it is slitted and kept in rolls for web-printing operations (like for magazines) or slitted into sheets for offset printing.

Next week we’ll look at how they manufacture uncoated papers and text papers.


Thanks to Sappi Papers and their YouTube channel, Sappi Tube.  You can also find them at

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About John Prothero

John Prothero is a print professional with over 30 years experience in the print industry. Starting out as a driver delivering jobs, he worked in bindery, proofing, plating, traditional prepress (camera and stripping), scheduling, job planning, job management, account management and digital job production. His skills also run in the area of blog authorship, social media management, and lead generation and qualification of prospective clients. John is also a contributor to Rhode Island Creative Magazine, a digital publication that highlights the creative spirit of the state of Rhode Island. You can read their online issues at
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