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Butcher paper is a sturdy, multipurpose paper that can be used for food wrapping or kids' art projects. Because it has so many uses, you can buy it from several types of stores. Many art supply stores stock rolls of it, as do food supply stores. You can inquire at butcher shops and restaurants to see if they'll sell you some of their stock. Finally, check out online stores for bulk ordering.
What is butcher paper?
Butcher paper is white, beige or brown paper that butchers use to wrap meat. It's made by the Kraft process, which involves pulverising wood pulp and treating it with sulphate, then processing it into sturdy sheets. It can be waxed or unwaxed. Its colour depends on whether it's bleached -- white isn't necessarily better than beige; it's more of an aesthetic choice than anything else. It also comes in a peach colour that when wrapped around meat helps it keep its colour and prevents juices from running out. Butcher paper is also used for art projects. Schools use it to cover children's drawing tables. Casual restaurants also use it for cheap, easy-to-replace tablecloths. It comes in various widths, from 30 cm to 150 cm (12 inches to 60 inches), and various weights, such as a 18 kg (40 lb) roll or a 22.7 kg (50 lb) roll. The weight indicates roughly how many feet of butcher paper a roll contains: 18 kg (40 lb) rolls usually yield 229 m (750 feet) of paper, and 22.7 kg (50 lb) rolls contain 305 m (1,000 feet).
Art supply shops
Art and craft supply stores often have large rolls of butcher paper available for sale. You can buy from high street craft shops, and also online.
Butcher shops and food supply shops
Visit a butcher shop and ask if you can buy butcher paper. Smaller butcher shops may let you, but it may be hard to convince them to let you buy a whole roll. Some butcher shops use sheets as well as rolls. Sheets come in 37.5 cm by 37.5 cm (15 inch by 15 inch) squares and are sold in 22.7 kg (50 lb) bundles. Food supply shops also sell butcher paper in rolls. Check online to save you having to travel to av wholesaler.
Restaurants often have a supply of butcher paper, especially if they have a deli section or fulfil a lot of take away orders. Casual restaurants, such as those with long cafeteria-style tables, often use butcher paper as table coverings, because the paper is easy to change out when it's soiled. Ask restaurant staff if they'd be willing to sell you some butcher paper from their stock.
You can order large quantities of butcher paper online. White rolls are more expensive than tan rolls.
- Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images