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What is cartridge paper used for?

Updated April 17, 2017

Cartridge paper is found in many objects we use daily. It is thicker than regular paper one writes on. It is made from chemical wood pulps, espartos or both. The texture is rough, semi-rough or smooth depending on its use. Many Americans would call it tag board, but around the world it is known as cartridge paper. Although it is named for its original use--forming tube section of shotgun shells--today it has many different uses.

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The most common use for cartridge paper is for illustrating. Artists use sketchbooks full of cartridge paper to draw. They often use oil pastels, pencils or chalk to create images on the thick, textured paper. The thickness of the paper, as well as the texture gives the drawing a chiselled look.


Liners and dividing pages in multiple subject notebooks are made with cartridge paper. This use of cartridge paper is useful because the paper is thicker and sticks out among the other notebook pages. Stout, smooth cartridge paper is most likely used as covers or backing pages for books and notebooks.


Professional, fancy stationery and envelopes are made with cartridge paper. The thicker paper gives the paper products a classier feel. Not only is it thicker, but it also is also textured. Logos and initials can be pressed into the paper.

Professional Uses

Many brochures, pamphlets and booklets are printed with cartridge paper. The thicker paper makes the information more durable. A thicker cover made with cartridge paper protects the pages inside. Even magazines have covers made with different weights of cartridge paper. Pamphlets fold more nicely when made with cartridge paper of a thicker weight. They look more professional as well.

Fun Fact

The stronger paper creates sturdier and more resistant paper aeroplanes that will fly higher and will not crush when they land.

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About the Author

Melissa Warner is a freelance writer and editor in Milwaukee, Wis. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "The Irish American Post" and "The London Student." Warner received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

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