18 Varieties Of Postage Stamp Paper


18 Varieties Of Postage Stamp Paper starts from where I concluded my last post. Today we are going to learn about the most important element of a postage stamp i.e. the Paper. By the end of this, we will know the different types of postage stamp paper being used to print stamps globally.

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18 Varieties of Postage Stamp Paper: – 

Art: – 

Paper is a high-quality paper with fine gloss coating. Such paper is used in the printing of magazines. It has an attractive enameled finish because of the china clay coating. Example – NewZealand SC # 179-181

18 Varieties Of Postage Stamp Paper

Batonne: –

is derived from the French word meaning “A Staff”. The term so given is based on the line spacing which is far apart in comparison to other forms of the fraternity. It looks similar to Laid Paper with few lines that are spaced at 1/2 apart. These spaced lines act as a guide. Batonne can be either Wove or Laid. If the stamp using Batonne paper is Laid in texture then fine lines can be observed between the batons. Example – Afghanistan SC # 157 as displayed below

18 Varieties Of Postage Stamp Paper


is also known as cover stock or pasteboard. It is thicker than the normal paper and is usually not used in the printing of postage stamps. US Plate proofs and Russian Quasi stamps are such examples.


Illustrative Example Carbon Postage Stamp Paper.

Chalky: – 

This paper was used as a precautionary measure to prevent the postmark or cancellation from being removed. This practice was to discourage the fraudulent reuse of postage stamps. The British government issued such stamps for many of its colonies. Collectors are suggested not to soak these stamps or forcefully remove them from an envelope. It will destroy the stamp. Example As Below from An Austrian series printed between 1908 – 1916. The left one is printed on ordinary paper and the left is on a chalky one.


As the name suggests color is added to the pulp and is equally distributed through the paper. Example – Hongkong SC # 96 displayed below.

Duplex: –

This was double security or two-ply thick paper which had two different papers bonded forming a single sheet. The first layer was unsized and meant to absorb the ink used for cancellation. The second layer or the ply was to supplement the strength of the stamp. This innovation was introduced by Charles F Steel a US-based inventor to counter the fraud problem in 1870. Example – US SC # 156 as shared below

Goldbeaters Skin:

is also known as resinized paper. This was a rugged paper that had transparent attributes because it was processed with either Resin or Collodium. The inverted design of the stamp was printed at the back of the paper and adhesive was applied over the design. Once the stamp was affixed to the letter the stamp design was correctly visible. Example – Prussia SC # 22


In other words, it is glossy in finish. Example – Salvador SC # 350


Has minute fibers of different colors. It is also known by another name “Silurian” because it had blue fibers and the paper used was bluish-gray. Example – US SC # 1326

Laid: –

One of the commonly used paper formats in the printing of postage stamps. The texture of the paper is such that when seen in natural or electrically produced light, it can be seen in dark and light lines. This grid is apparent due to the result of the papermaking process. Post the printing process the lines can be either vertical or horizontal. Example – Latvia SC # 60 as below.

Oblong Quadrille:

refers to when lines on the printing paper form rectangles. Quadrille, on the other hand, is meant for small squares.

Palimpsest: –

It is a type of paper that has been reused after scraping the earlier text. The previous writing is faintly visible. In the philatelic context, it refers to paper that was originally meant for other purposes but later used for printing stamps. The most prominent are stamps from Latvia that were printed after WWI which were printed on the back of Germany’s military stamps. Example – Latvia SC # 68-69

Pelure: –

The key characteristics of this paper are that it is thin, brittle, semi-transparent with a Woven or Laid texture. It is semi-transparent because of the resins used during the manufacturing of the paper. It is a French word that means skin or peel of a banana. Example – Russia SC # 181a

Phosphor Coated: –

This paper has a characteristic of luminescence which implies that it will glow yellowish-green when observed in ultraviolet shortwaves. The first issue was released by the United States in 1989. ExampleSC # 2280 Flag over Yosemite.

Illustrative Example Phosphor Coated Postage Stamp Paper.

Quadrille: –

It is the texture of the paper where the lines form squares which are 1/8 of an inch. In some instances, the pattern was printed on to the paper which was subsequently used to print the stamp. Example France 1892 15 C

Ribbed: – 

The texture of the paper is uneven, feels like a corrugated surface. It is also called as the Repp paper that is created by passing the paper through rigged rollers. One can feel the same by running their fingers over the surface of the paper. Example – Chile 1870 5c

Illustrative Example Ribbed Postage Stamp Paper

Silk Thread:

This quality of paper was introduced by John Dickinson in 1830 for the printing of banknotes. This technology was later adapted for the printing of postage stamps in 1847. This was used as a safeguard against counterfeiting. The paper has bits of colored silk threads varying density. Multiple threads or single ones were incorporated into the texture. Example – 10 Rappen 1854 Switzerland

Illustrative Example Silk Postage Stamp Paper

Wove: –

No visible pattern is found in this texture of the paper when it is held up to light sources. The paper has an even web of fibers, unlike the laid paper as it is printed using a mold. Example – Brazil SC # 99-108

Illustrative Example Postage Stamp Paper


To be continued. Please stay tuned………..

Rohit Mittal

Self Taught Techie, Father to a budding philatelist son and a Global Business Professional Having Traveled across four continents. I have helped European and Indian Businesses to turn around and realize business objectives in 180 to 270 days. Reading & Writing is my second nature. I rekindled my childhood passion for stamps after forty years and love to collect European Pre 1960s MNH OG stamps majorly from France, Germany, and Italy.
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