Weekly Quiz: What’s the Difference Between Silk, Satin and Velvet Papers?


Answer: Not sure!

While in the world of fabrics terms like Silk, Satin and Velvet are clearly defined, when it comes to papers… not so much.

When it comes to paper, there are two broad categories: uncoated and coated.

Coated paper refers to an offset paper that has been coated with a surface sealant, typically clay, to improve the paper’s brightness, smoothness, and other printing properties. These papers have numerous options: Gloss, Matte, Dull or High-Gloss (aka Cast Coated).

Silk, Satin, Velvet and Suede are variations of the Dull finish. That said, there are no set guidelines for their specific characteristics, with the exception of the fact that they all refer to papers with less than 50% Gloss.

In short: What is Silk to one mill might be Velvet to another.

  1. Joe A Isaak 2 weeks ago

    Sabine – the real answer is Marketing (and Engineering) when discussing what the industry calls “soft finishes”. Hope you’re well!

    • Author
      Aaron 2 weeks ago

      Hi Joe – the marketing we get. Love to hear your thoughts on the engineering side of it 🙂

  2. Keith Martin 2 weeks ago


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