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Beginners Guide

Card thickness (caliper) is measured in microns (1000 microns = 1 mm)

The reason you find a weight measurement gsm (grammes per square meter) is because paper and card is sold by the metric tonne to suppliers in Europe, and so is priced to us in that format too.

Card is sold using both caliper and weight to give the buyer more information. Commercially available paper/card for printing usually starts at around 200 microns and finishes at around 500 microns. Sheets of this thickness are then laminated together to make thicker card. Card used to be described in terms of how many sheets laminated together it is.  A 230 micron card may be 180 gsm and known as '3-sheet'.

AIthough weight and thickness usually correspond, it is not always the case. For instance, embossed card with a raised design may be thicker because of the embossing, but not necessarily heavier. So if you want a sturdy card, look at the gsms measurement rather than the thickness.

2-sheet / 200 microns / 150-160 gsm
Thin card developed originally for photo copiers


3-sheet / 230 microns / 170-180 gsm
Just a bit thicker than copier card, not quite firm enough to use as a card base, but good for layering and die cutting.


4-sheet / 280-300 microns / 210-240 gsm
Medium card, can be used as a card base but feels thin and a bit flimsy. Not suitable for larger card base as it will bend.

6-sheet / 350-380 microns / 270-290 gsm
Thicker quality card suitable for invitations and good for folded card base. Probably the thickest you want to use for folded card base.

8-sheet / 500microns / 385gsm

10-sheet / 580 microns / 460gsm

12-sheet / 750microns / 550-590gsm

Thick Card suitable for craft knife use, mounting, and framing.

Card Weight & Thickness

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