What is the difference between cover, text and label stock in terms of thickness and weight?

Answered by Sabine Lenz, founder, PaperSpecs.com

Can you please provide a concise explanation of the difference between Cover, Text and Label stock in terms of smoothness, thickness, and weight. I get so many different answers.

In the U.S., each paper category (Text, Cover, Index) has a specific basic sheet size associated with it. The basic size is used mainly to establish the paper's basis weight. The basis weight shows the weight of one ream (500 sheets) of basic size paper in pounds. The combination of the basic sheet size and basis weight determines whether a sheet is a 60 lb. Text, 100 lb. Cover -- you get the drift.

Smoothness and thickness (caliper) play no role in this. A 105 text can have a higher caliper than a 60 cover for example.

Label stock defines a pressure-sensitive construction comprising the face sheet (generally 70 text) and adhesive. They are usually only available in cut sizes, i.e. 8.5 X 11". Label stocks are mostly provided with a smooth surface to allow for laser compatibility.
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