Lettra front and back different?

According to Neenah, one side of Lettra is distinctly different than the other:

“There is a definite pattern difference between the two sides of the sheet. Most letterpress printers use the more
pronounced pattern side for greatest effect. Offset printers may want to use the smoother side for best results.
The standard weight is 110# cover or 300 gsm. Lettra also comes in a 32# (120 gsm) writing weight and a duplexed 220#
(600 gsm) weight.” from http://www.neenahpaper.com/FinePaper/CRANEPapers/~/~/media/750883B90A574...

I have a sheet of 110# and I can clearly see the difference, and I thought I had noticed the difference when printing on 220# in the past, but I just bought some parent sheets of the 220# (26x20 from Keldon) and I cannot see a difference. I can be dense about these kinds of things at times, am I just blind? Or did they change the paper, or when they duplex the 110# to make 220# do they glue them with the softer side out, leaving you with matching sides?

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I think they might do matching sides when they duplex for the 220.

Well, yes, they stick the two smooth sides together because no offset printer is ever likely to run #220 through a cylinder press? I think it calipers out past the allowance of most offset presses, this is pretty much a letterpress and flat plate printing specific paper.

I was interested to see that, in Neenah Paper’s Printing Tips (link above), under Offset Printing, they say to

“Print on the wire (smoother) side”

With paper, usually the wire side is the rougher side.

makes sense Mark, just the wording of their PDF was confusing, stating first that one side is different than the other, followed immediately by “also available in these other sizes” which would lead you to believe that the differences would still be there, and cause someone like me to turn the paper over in his hand for an hour thinking “i’m pretty sure these are the same”!

Just actually ordering some today. ” Look for similar information on the Lettra Package”. Normally, for regular paper there is a Print side (Felt Side). Each package of paper should have an arrow pointing to the side to be printed first. Standard rule of thumb opening the package up with the glued edges towards you, opening it like that, then flip paper over is the Print Side First. Most people won’t see the difference, unless it’s pointed out.


I think “this is pretty much a letterpress and flat plate printing specific paper” should be amended a tad. I’ve seen this stuff split in two coming off a Vandercook. Might be intended for platen presses. Or maybe it was just bad stock.


Neenah Paper specifically named it Crane’s Lettra DTC. (Double Thick Cover) C (Cover) 110 W (Writing) 32 and manufactured for those who want the Heavy Impression look with normal spec. packing on your Platen press.
Its a very soft 100% Cotton. I order direct thru Neenah. It’s expensive so be prepared.

all weights are pounds per 1M sheet.

I’ve never had problems with 220lb/600gsm on a Vandercook, Gerald. Must’ve been bad stock?

Don’t know what it costs through Neenah direct, but Keldon in LA shipped to NY is cheaper than buying from Legion/Letterpresspaper.com in NY and shipped to NY. I’ve had good customer service experiences with both places as well.

Hey gerald,

Well, your comment makes a lot of sense to me, and I agree; flat plate was corrected by my autocorrect- I wrote “platen” and my autocorrect changed it to “plate” haha

Although a Universal with tapes has done a good job for me in the past when I was required to run it, I prefer to print this stock on a platen. It slaps everything in sight if you don’t have good frisket fingers or something on your press that can help make the tumble through/around the cylinder easier.

I’ve had fine times just using long sheets. My issue has been registration. I don’t know if its because its so plush and thick that I have trouble feeding it against the side guide consistently or I’m just not being consistent nut I don’t have this issue with thinner paper.