The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 5
Aug 1990


How to Switch to Alkaline Paper

The lists of alkaline papers published from time to time in the Alkaline Paper Advocate (the other newsletter of Abbey Publications, which publishes this newsletter) are not helpful by themselves, if what you want is an alkaline paper to replace an acidic one that you are now using, especially if your requirements are fairly stringent, e.g., brightness over 90, cost not above average, weight 38-40 lb., and so on. Under these circumstances you have to use (or get someone to use for you) the paper catalogs. This will save your time and keep you from overlooking any of the likely choices available in your geographic area. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Get your hands an a Competitive Grade Finder, or work with someone who has one--a paper distributor or printer. It is one of three paper catalogs published by Grade Finders Inc., PO Box 944, Exton, PA 19341. All three are printed out from the sane database, and they all identify alkaline papers as such, including private brands (papers made to order by the mill for sale by a particular company). No other publication identifies alkaline papers. The Competitive Grade Finder has so much information in it that it may seem daunting, but it is actually a simple guide to a complex market, and you only need to be able to find the information useful to you. It has an alphabetical index in the back and table of contents in the front, just like other reference books. It is not necessary to learn the names and definitions of the hundreds of categories of paper used in this book. Everybody you talk to, and everybody who writes about paper, has their own classification of paper. If you learned one classification, you would only have to unlearn it to talk to the next person.

2. Look up the acidic paper you have been using in the index (or get your printer or distributor to do it for you), flip to the listing by grade categories, and look at the alkaline papers in the sane category as that acidic paper. (Papers are grouped in this listing by type of use, color, coated vs. uncoated, etc.; within each group, they are ranked by quality/price. This will help you resist any pressure to upgrade to a more expensive paper at the same time you switch to alkaline paper.)

3. Find out where you can buy the papers an your list. You can do this three ways: a) Call up the paper company and ask then; the number is in the Grade Finder under the company's name, b) Look it up in Walden's Paper Catalog (use your printer's or distributor's copy, or order your own from Walden-Mott Corp., 475 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, NJ 07649), or c) Look in the Yellow Pages of the nearest big town, under "Paper Distributors," and call up one distributor after another to find out which of them carry the papers you are looking for.

If you want to extend your search and find out whether a paper is permanent as well as alkaline, unfortunately there is no publication you can go to, and no list to consult except a very short preliminary one to appear soon in the Alkaline Paper Advocate.

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