Printing on recycled grocery sacks

I have paper from grocery sacks that has been pulped and recycled into hand-pulled sheets of sturdy cardstock weight. Because the stock seems particularly hard, I would like to know if there are any special approaches or precautions I should take in printing on it. I feel concerned about damaging my type - both wood and foundry. I have an 8x12 C&P and I’ll be using rubber-based ink. I have only printed on cotton rag paper and am still in my fretting stage of printing. Thanks for suggestions.

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You may be the only one, or one of very few who have tried this paper. If it is mould made, it should not be very hard.
You are wise to be concerned about your type. Smash printing with metal type on any paper, even cotton rag, will progressively damage metal type.
If you only do kiss printing, your type will last longer.
Explore the archives here on Briar Press and educate yourself on dampening the paper. I think it will probably work well.
Experiment and explore.
Get some ink on your shirt.

The paper, if it has a fairly smooth surface texture, should cause you no problems. Pull a couple sheets out of your standard packing and slowly add until you get a good image.

If the surface texture is too rough to give a good solid image, try dampening the stock which will soften it a bit.

Where’d you get the paper?! Sounds cool!

You might want to fan through the stock first to check out the quality. I have ruined engravings from clumps of pulp.

Thanks, everyone for comments and observations; I appreciate hearing from you. This paper was purchased at

to all

This may not be the best place to raise this: In over a year of reading The Briar Press, I have not seen any reference to a jogger, that is, a machine for “shaking” a stack of paper to align the edges of the sheet; makes auto-feeding possible if the sheets have been mis-aligned at some stage.

Also, I have not seen any reference to the appellation “paper spoilers”; perhaps a touchy point with newbie printers?

When describing access to buildings, in England the ground floor is called that, and the first floor up from ground is called the first floor, and likewise; USA, the ground floor is first floor, and upwards; Australia has used a mixture, sometimes confusing; now we use “Level One” and so on, Level One being ground. In France floors are numbered from lowermost upwards — if there is a basement, the lowest is floor one, and upwards. I think I have seen, in Australia, a series of basements, numbered as B1 for the uppermost, and downwards from there. Mezzanines are not usually counted as a floor, but designated separately as M1 and so on. Fortunately, a list of occupiers is usually posted to be visible as the visitor exits the lift (escalator) at each level. In Australia, an escalator is the moving stairway which carries visitors between floors, sometimes looking like a stairway, sometimes smooth on which one can walk and push a supermarket trolley. That’s enough comment for one day.


And i thought a jogger was someone who runs, why run when you can drive where you have to go???

jogger heck

when i apprenticed
thats what
helpers / assistant pressmen were for

first thing i learned was how to wind stock / jog

nothing like being second helper on a big big
Harris two color doing four color work
printing box board ( plastic model car kit box tops )
spend all your time winding stock

worse was working as a jogger boy
on a mid size newspaper web
when the press was running
you busted your butt to keep up

when press stopped
you had to climb up and wash blankets

have played with printing on paper bag paper
bags from Trader Joes and some local
stores are quality paper bags
have not encountered any pulp chips
or wood chunks

have not busted any type
running brown paper bag stock
but am a kiss style printer

dit dit mac

Now i remember why i wanted to be a linotype operator, i never wanted to lift that large heavy stock, my first linotype job had a lot of brass magazines, so i had to lift heavy stuff anyway.