colored paper for letterpress?

Hi there,

I’ve been using Crane’s lettra paper for printing wedding invites for a while now, and I love it. Every once in a while, though, I get a customer who really wants colored paper. Has anyone found a readily available, heavy, colored paper that works well for letterpress *and* comes with matching envelopes (large enough for wedding invites)? If so…tell me your secret!


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There are not terribly many out there, but do a search and you will find several recommendations.

Sorry to disagree with you dicharry, there are various alternatives to Lettra.
You must keep in mind that before Crane came out with the Lettra lineup as a direct response to a revival of all things letterpress, there were and are still hundreds of sheets suitable forletterpress printing, in fact, just about anything that you can feed through your press will work.

If you don’t know a friendly printer to help you out with this, I strongly suggest you consider looking up a paper merchant in your area (the companies that sell paper to printers), ask to be assigned a “paper specification rep”, arrange to meet with this person, ask to review samples, ask for mill swatches, as for recommendations, you will find many nice alternatives to Lettra for considerably less money. Not meaning to diminish the beauty or feel or quality of Lettra, but let’s face it, not every project can justify the cost.

Consider the Neenah lineup as an alternative, still pricey but lower than Lettra, great quality and textures, for invitations just about any of their sheets would work, Classic Laid, Classic Linen, Classic Cotton, Classic Columns for something a more noticeable pattern, Classic Crest always a natural for stationery and corporate communication packages, and a newer lineup called “Eames”, dedicated to the famous American designers Charles & Ray Eames (the famous “Eames” formed plywood chair circa 1945).
Not to favor Neenah exclusively, you’ll find cheaper but still good alternatives in the Via collection, produced by Mohawk, Via Felt is similar to Lettra but with a more pronounced texture, Via Vellum, Laid, Cotton, and hey, they even come in COLORS!, all acid-free and archival.

All the above come in colors and with matching envelopes of various sizes and weights.

Also consider Strathmore, now a Beckett product I believe.

These 3 lineups are all good to great quality sheets, there are multiple more economical choices, only what your local merchants carry will limit your choices.

Get familiar with as many paper merchants in your area (your local printers can help you find them) as they all carry slight different lines of paper and keep different stock in inventory. You want to avoid placing “special orders” as they always come at a premium.

Happy hunting for colored stocks!

I have to agee with Madillo. There are dozens of papers out in the marketplace that work great with letterpress….. and have matching envelopes. I use a lot of Strathmore products myself, especially their 100% cotton Resume’ Paper, and don’t have a problem with them. Neenah Classic Laid and Classic Linen also work well, as does our local paper house’s pre-cut “Wedding Set” which has the inner and outer envelopes, and panelled cards.

I really don’t see what all of the fuss over Letra is about, anyway. It’s nice paper to be sure, but it’s not gold nor is it unique…. and it seems overpriced to me. Some folks on this forum seem to think that it is the only paper that will work well on our presses…. which is certainly not the case. If you know what you are doing, almost any paper can be printed upon with good effect.