Bookbinding Tips and Tricks by Mylyn McColl

This month Mylyn turns her attention to papers, their weights and suggested uses.

Weights of Paper

In the UK we measure the thickness of paper by its weight: gsm = grams per square metre so usually the lower the number the thinner the paper and the higher the number the thicker and therefore stiffer the paper.

As with most things you can play around with using different materials and feel the different weight and thickness of paper, see if it scores well, glues nicely, if it turns round board etc but here is a basic guide to suitable paper weights for different uses.

  • Pages for sections: 80–120gsm
  • End Papers:  90-170gsm
  • Decorative Paper Covers: 120-170gsm
  • Soft Card Covers: 200-300gsm
  • Spine Linings:  80-120gsm
  • Spine Stiffener:  200-270gsm

September 2021