How paper is manufactured – the specialty papers

prodbanner1Two weeks ago we covered how coated paper is made with a great video by Sappi Paper. Last week we covered the steps to making uncoated paper, such as opaque, text and offset papers. This week we’ll go over the manufacturing of 3 specialty papers: Neenah Environment®, Mohawk Carnival Linen, and Yupo®.


Neenah’s Environment® paper is known for it’s unique characteristics, such as a broad, earth-toned color selection, double-thick cover (130# basis weight), and the small specs of recycled fibers that are left in the paper pulp as it is formed into sheets. The manufacturing process is the same as with all paper, with the exception of dye added to create the unique colors, such as Desert Storm, Moonrock, Wrought Iron, Concrete, Weathered, Stone, Grocer Kraft (looks like an old shopping bag), and Honeycomb. The sheets have a smooth surface for good ink laydown, but the paper in itself becomes a significant element of the design of the printed piece due to its color.


Mohawk’s Carnival line is also a textured text and cover sheet, with smooth, felt, and linen finish being its most popular finishes. The colors are in the primary line, with black, green, yellow and red. To achieve the textured surfaces, after the sheet is dry, it’s run back through the paper press against a roller that has patterns de-bossed into its surface, and as the sheet runs between the rollers, that deboss presses into the sheet, embossing the paper with the surface texture.


Yupo® is one of a handful of synthetic sheets that are manufactured with oil-based resins – basically plastic. Due to this characteristic, the paper is moisture-resistant, making it ideal for use in the commercial kitchen. It also is tear-resistant, so any kind of high use document, like instruction manuals, will last longer. It can be recycled (just not with regular paper), but does require special inks to be used, and due to the high heat of digital presses and copiers, it’s not recommended for that use. (YupoBlue® is an exception, but ONLY for use with the HP Indigo.)  You can find out more about Yupo® from there excellent Q&A section of their website.

So, make sure you get paper swatch books from your print services provider, and keep those handy for future reference.

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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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