Card stock

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Card stock for craft use comes in a wide variety of textures and colors.
An Oscar Friedheim card cutting and scoring machine from 1889

Card stock, also called cover stock or pasteboard, is a paper stock that is thicker and more durable than normal writing or printing paper, but thinner and more flexible than other forms of paperboard. Card stock is often used for business cards, postcards, playing cards, catalogue covers, scrapbooking, and other uses which require higher durability than regular paper. The texture is usually smooth, but can be textured, metallic, or glossy. When card stock is labeled as cover stock it often has a coated finish on one side or both sides (CS1 or CS2 - Coated one side, Coated 2 side) to produce a glossy look and smooth texture, especially in use for the printing of business cards and book covers.[1]


Card stock thickness is often described by pound weight. Pound weight is the weight of 500 sheets of 20 by 26 in (508 by 660 mm) paper. This differs from how text stock is determined, which assumes 500 sheets of 25 by 38 in (635 by 965 mm) paper. Because of the difference in the way text and card stock pound weight is determined, a sheet of 65# card stock is actually thicker and heavier than a sheet of 80# text. Most countries use the term grammage to describe the weight of the paper in grams per square metre. The term card stock is used to describe paper with weights from 50 lb to 110 lb (about 135 to 300 g/m2).[2]

In the U.S., card stock thickness is usually measured in points or mils that gives the thickness of the sheet in thousandths of an inch. For example, a 10 pt. card is 0.010 in (0.254 mm) thick (roughly corresponding to a weight of 250 g/m2); 12 pt. is 0.012 in (0.3048 mm). Paper sizes using the ISO system are often used for card stock as well. Card stock sizes can be labeled as A3 (420 × 297 mm or 16.5 × 11.7 in) referencing the ISO Standard system, instead of using the physical dimensions to describe its size.[3][4]

The U.S. Card Stock Thickness Point size is 0.001". It must not be confused with the U.S. Typographical Point Size of 1 point = 1/ 12 traditional pica = exactly 0.01383 inch = 0.35136 mm.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paper Weight, Paper Size, Coated Paper, Matte Paper". Printing Industry Exchange, LLC. Nov 2004. 
  2. ^ "Paper and Card Stock Comparison Chart" (PDF). The Paper Mill Store. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Paper Sizes". 
  4. ^ "Understanding Card Stock Weights".