Best Black Paper for Business Cards


I am printing my second set of business cards on my kelsey 5x8. I am looking for a good black letterpress paper with different weight options…maybe 100-300#? I have looked through the samples I have and not been excited about anything. Any advice would be helpful.


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You are not going to find alot of weight options in black.
Not sure what samples you have but there are some duplex papers out there like Stratmore (they have a smooth, antique and linen finish). Some with a white second side or gray.
Not sure where you live but a special invitation or paper store like papyrus or go on line to get small sizes and lots.
If you print on this you will need an ink with alot of opaque white in it it it will require perhaps a double or triple pass.

Good luck.

Try 2 ply black museum board.

Fairly thick, takes a good letterpress punch, and is a nice black.
It’s not paper by any means, but is a good stock for business cards.

Somerset black is my go-to for black letterpress stocks. Somerset is similar to Lettra.

And there is the very nice Arches 300 grammes paper, great for cards, 100% rags.

Only in 140, but French muscletone

Greetings, we just finished a greeting card edition done on Black Arches paper. The paper prints just wonderfully.

A word of caution about this paper is that Black Arches is an unsized paper, meaning that if you get it the slightest bit wet it will expand like a sponge.


-Rob B.

Rob is right, Jessie. I’ve used Arches 88, which is also unsized, and it indeed absorbs water like a sponge. This wouldn’t, however, keep you from dampening it if you typically dampen your paper. You just have to account for the extra absorption in your dampening technique. The surface is also somewhat disrupted by dampening, creating a more velvety texture, which may or may not be what you want. It’s definitely worth experimenting.


Here are a bunch of options, some of which were mentioned above:

** 100% Cotton
Somerset Velvet Black 250gsm, 280gsm
Revere Suede Black 250gsm, 300gsm
Arches Cover Black 250gsm
Stonehenge Black 250gsm
Rising Museum Board Black 2ply (500gsm), 4ply (1000gsm)

** Non-cotton
Colorscope Ebony 270gsm & 350gsm

I have my own business cards printed on Somerset & Colorscope.

Happy to send out an 8x9 sheet of each if you’d like to experiment. Drop me a line.


I’m late to seeing this post, but I really like 111# Wild in black. It’s also a decent price, which is nice for a colored paper.

I know this was about business cards, but my almost horror story with black wedding announcement envelopes may still apply.

I always mail a proof of the finished announcement just before shipping day. The proof got wet, as mail does, and the black dye transferred in an ugly mess to the creamy white invitation inside, not to mention all over the brides hands.

Needless to say, not a good application for black stock. We changed to Lettra ecru, my go-to announcement stock.

It’s colorfast!


You can always hand duplex your own sheets - elmers glue using a small painting roller (the tiny white ones) cut the backing sheet a 1/8” smaller all the way around so when you go to cut, you still have your printed side gripper and guide. I would hand place and press the sheets, laying a clean text weight sheet between each glued sheets to allow for even drying - then stack them - with a weight on the top of the stack (a ream or two of text paper makes a good weight) also keeps the paper from curling. Let it dry 24 hours. It’s pretty fun - any weight paper you want- any color