The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 2, Number 4
Oct 1989

Colored Papers

There are many more alkaline colored papers on the market than there used to be, though the mills are sometimes reluctant to get into the technical problem of producing then. One reason sometimes offered is that the calcium carbonate makes the colors less intense. Of course, they could just add more dye, but dyes are very expensive. They could add less calcium carbonate, but they would have to replace it with fiber, which is also expensive. If they were using clay as a filler, they would have the same result (lighter colors), other things being equal; but the filler level for clay is typically much lower than for carbonate. A new kind of calcium carbonate is under development that may minimize this problem.

Nevertheless, several companies are making some attractive colored papers in different grades. Some of them are:

Hammermill. Hammermill Bond, their "flagship grade," comes in 18 colors, ranging from pale to moderate saturation. It is used for laser printing, xerography and offset lithography. It comes in 20 and 24 lb., in white too, of course. Hammermill Linen and Linen Cover come in colors, and are usually alkaline, but some colors may still be acid, because they may be made in mills that have not converted yet; better test with the pH pen before buying. Yes, it can be used with colored papers, at least the newest model can be, because it has a more concentrated solution that shows up well on all but the most intense colors. Hammermill Offset Opaque and Hammermill Cover comes in six pale colors, at least, all alkaline, apparently. Other Hammermill grades come in colors too.

Miami. Medallion Text and Cover comes in Hi-White, Ivory, Cream White, Pewter, Platinum, Avocado, Toffee, Dusty Rose, Old Denim and Noveau Lilac. Bellbrook Laid comes in nine soft, neutral shades. Sycamore Colors come in pink, buff, goldenrod, . eye-ease green, green, blue, gray, ivory, deep ivory and tan. Miami Paper Corporation is 100%. alkaline, and about 50%. of the fiber it uses is recycled.

Ward. Brite-Hue offset and cover comes in 14 bright colors that show no sign of being washed out by the calcium carbonate. Forward Offset comes in two finishes and four weights and 15 colors ranging from medium saturation to pale. Forward Vellum Opaque comes in 60 and 70 lb. offset and 65 lb. cover, in cream, gray, blue, lilac, pink, green, tan, salmon and canary, all rather restrained; it is taking the place of Forward Soft-Hue, which is not being made in great quantity anymore. Ward Paper Company, a division of Strathmore Paper Company, is 100% alkaline and takes pride in its expertise and instrumentation for making a large number of colors consistently.

Mohawk. Somehow the off ice single books for this company have gotten misplaced, but Mohawk makes some lovely colors that are fairly resistant to light fading (they were tested in the window for a couple of months). Mohawk is also 100% alkaline.

There are two ways to get these papers. One is to call the company and ask for the paper distributor nearest you; the other is to look in the yellow pages of the nearest large town, and call one distributor after another until you hit one who carries papers from the mill you are interested in.

The telephone numbers for these companies are:

Hammermill Papers - 901-763-7800
Miami (now part of Cross Pointe Paper Corp.) - 513-865-6018
Ward Paper Co. - 312-588-6130
Mohawk Paper Mills - 518-237-1740


The minimum order is likely to be rather large, from one . carton up to 40,000 pounds, but retail amounts are becoming increasingly available through retail outlets. Ask the distributor if there is one in town. or get together with like-minded people and place a pooled order, or talk a local store or school into stocking one or more brands.

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