London's Leading Independent Office Stationery Supplier - Since 1984
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Papers & Envelopes

Since Stylus Stationers started trading back in 1984 we have consistently supplied customers with more paper than any other product.

Whether you require 'everyday' 75 or 80gsm A4 white papers for your photocopiers or fax machines or something more prestigious for presentations or company correspondence - come to Stylus!

The majority of the papers that we supply regularly are not in the Stylus Catalogue because we deal directly with paper manufacturers and suppliers and we are able to source most well-known brands of paper including Xerox, HP, Canon, Conqueror, Navigator and Report.

For larger organisations we can arrange for regular deliveries of paper (eg. weekly or monthly) to suit your requirements and we can deliver any amount, from a single ream to whole pallets of paper (generally 40 boxes or 200 reams). Speak to our Sales Team on 0203 621 3263 about setting up a regular Standing Order or to discuss your paper requirements.

Paper-related terms

Bank Paper

A lightweight paper often used for the continuation sheets of a letter, also known as 'flimsy'.

Bond Paper

A superior grade of strong white paper made wholly or in part from rag pulp.


This is the percentage of light of a pre-determined wavelength reflected from the surface of the paper. Papers of high brightness produce higher contrast of black graphic inks and a more vivid appearance with coloured inks.

Felt side and wire side of the paper

This refers to the product upper surface (felt side) and back side (wire side) made on the in conventional flat table machine. A paper produced by a machine with double wire (duo-former) possesses only very slight differences between both surfaces. The wire side has less quantity of mineral filling and fine particles than the felt side, and thus is more resistant to picking filling and presents less tendency to crease when folded. It is the selected side, whenever possible, for the printing of dense areas. The felt side, however, has better printability.


An old English term used to describe a writing paper made in sheets, originally 16 x 13 inches, and folded so as to make a page 8 x 13 inches. Nowadays it is sold in cut-sheets of 8 x 13 inches (203 x 330mm). It got its name from the watermark of a fool's cap and bells used by old paper makers.

Grammage / Gsm (or 'grammes per square metre')

The weight in grammes of a single sheet of a particular paper one metre square. For example, most of the 'everyday' A4 paper that we sell here at Stylus is '80 gsm'. The grammage influences the other product proprieties such as thickness, opacity and printing performance in conversion and final use equipment.

Laid Paper

A high-quality paper made on wire moulds that give it a characteristic watermark of close thin lines

Pallet (load)

The amount of boxes of cut-paper that are supplied, usually wrapped, on a standard wooden pallet. With A4 80gsm paper this is generally generally 40 boxes (or 200 reams) although there are exceptions.


The skin of a sheep or goat prepared as a material on which to write or paint. The terms 'vellum' and 'parchment' became confused early on; traditionally the former was made from an unsplit calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin, and consequently had a grain pattern on one side (unless removed by scraping), while the latter was produced from the flesh split off a sheep or a goat, or other kind of skin, and consequently had no grain pattern. The important distinction between vellum (or parchment) and leather is that the former is not tanned but is prepared essentially by soaking the skin in lime and drying it under tension. Nowadays, the word 'parchment' is also used to describe paper made in imitation of this material.


A quire of paper is used as a measure of paper quantity. The usual meaning today is a set of 24 or 25 sheets of paper of the same size and quality. It might also be thought of as 1/20 of a ream although, historically, it has had other meanings. A quire was originally an unfolded stack of 4 sheets of vellum or parchment, which (depending on the method used) would form an 8- or 16-page booklet when stitched and folded. Back then, the terms quaternion or quaternum were more commonly used. The current word 'quire' was derived when quaternum was shortened to 'quair' or 'guaer' in common usage. Afterwards, when bookmaking switched to using paper and it became possible to easily stitch 5 to 7 sheets at a time, the association of 'quaire' with 'four' was quickly lost. It also became the name for any booklet small enough to be made from a single quire of paper. In blankbook binding, quire is a term indicating 80 pages.


A ream of paper is a quantity of sheets of the same size and quality. Formerly it was 480 sheets, 20 quires, for common sizes such as letter-size paper (8½" x 11"). A printer's ream was 516 sheets, perhaps to allow for wastage. As part of international standardisation, this quantity was changed to 500 sheets and most general-purpose cut papers are now sold by the ream. The old value of 480 sheets is now known as a 'short ream'. Boxes of paper generally hold 5 reams.


The Stylus (plural: styli) is one of the oldest writing implements known to man and was used by the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians as long ago as 3000 BC. The term 'Stylus' is used to denote a sharp, pointed instrument used for writing, marking, or engraving. In ancient times, styli were used to write in cuneiform, a style of writing based on the "wedge-shaped" mark that the end of a cut reed made when pushed into a clay or wax tablet, hence the name "cuneiform" from Latin cuneus = 'wedge'.


This is expressed in millimetres (mm) or microns (mm, a thousandth part of millimetre). Thickness is the perpendicular distance between the faces of the product sheet. Its uniformity ensures printing uniformity and performance in the conversion processes. Thickness is important in papers for making books, where the number of pages per centimetre is specified.


Originally Vellum (from the Old French Vélin, meaning 'calfskin') was a fine parchment made from calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin and used for the pages and binding of books. Nowadays, we commonly use the word vellum to denote a heavy off-white fine-quality paper resembling this type of parchment. However, genuine vellum made from goatskin is still in use today. Since 1497 Acts of Parliament have been recorded on vellum and are currently held in the House of Lords Public Record Office. Since 1849, duplicate copies of Acts, also written on vellum, are placed in the Public Record Office at Kew.


A translucent design impressed on paper during manufacture and visible when the paper is held to the light.

Wove Paper

A writing paper with a uniform surface, not ribbed, as opposed to Laid Paper.

Which envelope should I use?

UK & International Paper sizes

The present A B and C standardised system of paper sizes for printing and writing papers was adopted by the British Standards Institute in 1959. This standard was based on the International Standards Organisation sizes used in many other countries.

841 x 1189mm
331/8" x 46¾"
594 x 841mm
233/8" x 331/8"
420 x 594mm
16½" x 233/8"
297 x 420mm
11¾" x 16½"
210 x 297mm
8¼" x 11¾"
148 x 210mm
57/8" x 8¼"
105 x 148mm
41/8" x 57/8"
74 x 105mm
27/8" x 41/8"
203 x 330mm
8" x 13"
203 x 254mm
8" x 10"
216 x 360mm
8½" x 14"
USA F/cap
216 x 330mm
8½" x 13"
USA Quarto (Letter)
216 x 279mm
8½" x 11"

UK & international Envelope sizes

The international envelope size range has been developed to take A sized sheets of paper. The range of envelope sizes is known as the C series. The exception is the DL envelope which is a long envelope, designed to take folded sheets of A series paper (refer to diagram above).

324 x 458mm
12¾" x 18"
229 x 324mm
9" x 12¾"
162 x 229mm
63/8" x 9"
114 x 162mm
4½" x 63/8"
220 x 110mm
8¾" x 43/8"