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The Newsroom

What makes our premium paper premium?

Paper roll on paper machine

In order to give your important business documents the attention they deserve, Hammermill® premium paper is brighter, heavier, and better for printing (smoother) than our everyday and multi-purpose papers. Which may lead you to ask, “How do you achieve these upgraded features?” 

While the basic manufacturing process is the same for all of our paper, we do three significant things differently when producing our premium products.

1. More hardwood pulp

When we manufacture our standard paper, we use a high percentage of softwood pulp (larch, red pine, spruce). Softwood pulp paper has great flexibility, high folding strength, and good printability—characteristics that are a plus for most common paper uses.

By contrast, we use more hardwood pulp in our premium paper, preferably sourced from northern hardwoods (birch, poplar, basswood). Hardwood pulp paper is stiffer and thicker with higher opacity—traits more in line with specialty paper applications.

With hardwood pulp, we can also achieve better paper formation—the uniformity with which the fibers and other papermaking solids are distributed in a paper sheet. 

2. Smaller, slower machines.

Because they’re built for speed, large modern machines aren’t generally used to make premium grade paper. We make our premium sheets on smaller, slower, and older machines that are strictly dedicated to this purpose.

These smaller, slower Fourdrinier machines (named for Henry and Sealy Fourdrinier, the brothers who patented the device) feature a long, straight table to maximize the formation of each sheet, as opposed to the twin wire screen of modern machines designed for dewatering and speed. 

3. Additional calendering

Hammermill premium paper also receives additional calendering, a smoothing process that requires the paper to pass through several pairs of heated rolls. These calender pairs typically exert 500 pounds of pressure per linear inch.

Instead of the two-roll calender stacks used to make our standard paper, we run our premium paper through 4-roll stacks. The resulting sheets are much smoother than standard copy paper, with a higher basis weight.

Still sustainably sourced.

Our premium paper might be made differently than our everyday sheets, but you can count on one thing being the same: All of our paper (both hardwood and softwood based) is sourced from sustainably managed working forests, which helps to preserve them for future generations.

In the end you’ll feel good about choosing Hammermill premium paper, not only because it gives your work the spotlight it deserves, but because it’s made right.


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