“index” cardstock & Lettra alternatives

Hello all,

I have the opportunity to purchase 110# paper for my Craftsmen Imperial press, but the seller says it is like an index card in texture, only thicker. I would assume this means it is not made of cotton like Lettra or other letterpress papers. Will this type of paper take a letterpress impression nicely? Is it even safe to use on my press?

If you couldn’t tell already, I am a brand-new hobby printer, and I hope to produce cards, stationery, etc. and am looking into alternatives to Crane’s Lettra. If this index paper is not recommended, are there any other 100% cotton papers out there that are more affordable?

Thank you,

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Ask for a sample and print on it! Sample, print, take notes, sample, + print + Have fun! Good Luck.

If you have an Expedix store near you could get some samples of the stock they sell. They have storesall over the place, and they sell ink and other supplies. Good Luck Dick G.

Um, that is “Xpedx”… and yes, they have stores in many cities.


110# is a commercial paper much like an index card in finish. It is used for ledger stock.
Yes, you can print on it.
No, it is not a soft finish and won’t take a deep impression. Well, it would if you have a big press and do smash printing.
It is probably not a suitable stock for your intended use to print cards, etc.

I’ve been playing around with some cotton stocks lately, and some of my favorites are:

-Reich’s Savoy
-Coventry Rag (made by Legion)

Holyoke offers a good selection of smaller sizes at a nice price, so I would recommend them for a hobby printer. You’ll always get better prices on paper if you’re willing to commit to a case.

You can get as fancy as you want to with cotton stock, but all of the above are good, “working class” stocks for those of us who don’t care about deckles and watermarks but want a little class.

Watery -

As Inky says, 110# Index has similar characteristics to ledger paper. It has a hard surface and is designed - like ledger paper - to last and to let the users erase pencil marks.

It’s a good stock for smooth covers, detailed prints and such, and will give you superior image reproduction - nice, crisp prints - on your little Craftsmen, but it’s a far cry from the softer Letrra or other soft, spongy papers so popular today.

If you increase the impression while printing on 110# index, it will not compress and give you that popular impression. It will punch through - leaving an embossed impression on the back.

It’s great to use under your packing if you want a hard base for printing on softer paper, but it’s not at all like Lettra and those soft, compressible papers everyone seems to like so much.

- Al

Thanks all for your guidance.

To tell you the truth, I am not wild about the soft stocks. I have experience with Lettra only but I don’t care for the unsmooth surface, and the edges get almost powdery when cut. I think I want a cleaner look.

However, I would like to achieve a slight impression with the paper I choose. Is that possible with index on the machine that I have? I don’t understand exactly what you mean when you say it will punch through, embossing the back, but not giving an impression.