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Q&A: Folding Thick Stock

A product’s long-term durability often depends on the type of paper stock used. Using thick stock – generally defined as paper with a thickness of six points or more – can help a product resist tearing and can make it more durable. From an aesthetic point of view, a thicker stock also can create a feeling of high quality and craftsmanship.

Kevin Rickard, vice president of Rickard Bindery, Chicago, IL, said proper folding will help ensure the finished product turns out as planned.

Question: What can be done to avoid wrinkling on a right-angle fold?

Answer: To avoid possible "crow’s feet" wrinkles along the fold, design your project for parallel folding rather than right angle folding. On right angle folds, the stock’s thickness will cause the paper to compress and stress at the fold, resulting in visible wrinkles along the first fold.

Question: At what point should stock be scored before folding?

Answer: Stocks six points and thicker should be scored prior to folding. This is particularly important if your project features critical color breaks. At Rickard Bindery, our high-speed rotary scoring capabilities are an ideal solution for most thick stock applications.

Question: What is the difference between plow and buckle folding?

Answer: Compared with buckle folding, plow folding often produces superior results on thick stocks – especially those over 10 points. Although buckle folding is effective for stocks from five to 10 points, ripple cracking (a surface scar that runs parallel to the fold) may occur if the fold is made perpendicular to the paper grain.

Rickard Bindery is a Chicago-based postpress company specializing in folding, gluing and stitching. It has provided solutions to print markets across the US for 112 years. For more information, call 800.747.1389 or visit www.rickardbindery.com.