Printmaking Paper

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does it mean that a paper is sized or unsized?

    Sizing is a treatment added to paper to control its absorbency. Whereas watercolor papers are heavily sized, printmaking papers may be moderately sized, lightly sized, or even "waterleaf" (unsized). The level of sizing in the paper influences how it performs for various applications. For example, high absorbency will facilitate absorption of ink, but may make the paper more fragile if soaked.

  • Can I use printmaking papers in a desktop printer?

    For the most part, these printmaking papers are not manufactured with desktop printing in mind. They may still work, but you will need to test with your printer prior to committing to any large projects. Be sure to consult your printer's specifications to determine what thickness of paper will be compatible.

  • Can I use other media on printmaking paper?

    Moderately sized printmaking papers can often take a light watercolor application. In addition, the soft surface of many printmaking papers can lend itself to colored pencil, charcoal, and light pastel. Bear in mind that printmaking papers often have a delicate surface that doesn't stand up to erasure like drawing or bristol paper, and they aren't usually well suited to pen and ink or marker. Have fun experimenting!