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Tissue Paper Facts


Gift wrapping tissue paper facts


Acid Free Tissue Paper for Dresses, Textiles & Costumes

Over time tissue paper will become acidic and brittle with age. As this processes occurs, acidity of the tissue will transfer to objects it is touching causing them to become weaker and possibly discoloured. Acid free tissue papers are specially processed to remove such acidity. Some acid free papers can be buffered to an alkaline or neutral acid free pH level.

These buffered papers are considered acceptable for cotton or linen textiles, but potentially harmful to silk or wool objects.

Therefore, it is suggested that a neutral pH, un-buffered acid free tissue paper be purchased for general textile or costume storage. It should be noted however that many acid free tissue papers, such as gift wrapping tissue, may be PH neutral at the time of production but the acidity level may change over time and hence would not be suitable for wrapping and storing garments for a long period of time.

What are the different types of tissue paper?
  • Premium Quality gift wrapping tissue paper is used as a presentation tissue typically for bag stuffing and garment packing.
  • Economy quality white recycled Chinese CAP tissue is used mainly for packing rather than presentation.
  • Printed tissue wrapping paper printed with patterns or custom logo brand is used for gift presentation.
How thick is tissue wrapping paper?
  • Paper thickness is measured and defined as grams per square meter. The lower the weight per square meter the thinner the paper will be.
  • Premium quality tissue will range between 17 to 20gsm (grams per square meter)
  • Economy CAP tissue is 14gsm and is thinner than premium quality tissue.
What are different types of quality?
  • Machine Glazed (MG) is a premium quality tissue paper glazed on both sides.
  • Machine Finish (MF) tissue paper is a lower quality tissue wrapping paper glazed on one side.
What is acid free tissue paper and why is this important?

Acid free gift wrapping tissue paper has a neutral PH or acidity level. Acidity levels can change over time and damage the items they are stored with. True acid free tissue paper can be used for conservation and textile storage such as wedding dresses.

What is tissue paper made from?
  • High quality tissue paper is made from virgin grade wood pulp which in turn leads to bright white tissue and vivid tissue colours.
  • Tissue paper can also be made from 100% recycled materials which has an effect that usually makes white and colours duller.
What is the difference between acid free "conservation grade tissue" and "gift wrapping tissue"?

Acid free tissue paper that is archival quality is NOT the same as gift wrapping grade tissue paper or packing tissue paper. 

In tissue paper, the largest volume is in the gift wrap area and this is usually discarded within days of usage. Therefore the very structure of the tissue paper is not important. However in the applications for archival storage of documents, interleaving of books, wedding dress and long term garment storage the structure of the tissue paper is important.

If we look at "acid free tissue" the strict definition is that the PH level for the finished product should be 7.0. However this does not take into consideration the raw material used in producing the tissue paper. If a virgin pulp is used then the tissue paper producer knows that acid has not been used in producing tissue paper.

On the other hand, if post consumer waste is used then it is impossible to guarantee that no acid was used in producing the original paper (and the waste used may have been printed).

Strictly speaking, provided the finished product has a PH level is 7.0 then this can be defined as "acid free" or, more accurately, PH neutral. However it is not known whether the PH will lower over time and acid will develop.

Please note that coloured tissue paper is even more complex because of the dyes used in producing coloured tissue paper. As a rule the darker colours, black, dark blue, purple etc are more likely to have acidity issues over time than the lighter shades. Most gift wrapping tissue is un-buffered.

Consequently I would not recommend our range of tissue paper for wedding dresses, archival applications. However there are tissue papers available for these applications but they tend to be produced in specialised factories.

Tissue paper for archival and wedding dress storage is mostly produced in the USA. The volumes for the latter applications are fairly low and would be expensive.

What is the difference between buffered and un-buffered or non buffered tissue paper?
  • Acid Free means that the tissue paper is free of acids that will cause it to deteriorate over time and damage the other items that it touches.
  • The PH level of tissue is the measure of acidity and alkalinity. The scale ranges from 0 to 14 and 7 is considered to be neutral.
  • Tissue paper can be either buffed or un-buffered.
  • Buffered tissue has an alkaline reserve, usually 2-5% calcium carbonate. The buffering counteracts the effects within the material or in the environment, providing long term protection. Buffered tissue paper should have a PH neutral level of 7.5 to 9.5.
  • Acid free tissue paper that is archival quality is un-buffered or Non-buffered tissue and lacks the buffering reserve to prevent future acidity. It is used with materials that are sensitive to a higher pH level. Un-buffered paper should have a pH neutral level of 7.0 to 7.5.
  • Conservation grade acid free tissue paper is also LIGIN FREE.
  • Use only white or natural Kraft Acid Free Tissue Paper of Archival Quality for storing long term. Do NOT use coloured tissue as the dye can bleed onto and ruin your collections!
What is the difference between Machine Finish (MF) tissue wrapping paper and machine glazed (MG) gift wrapping tissue paper?
  • The key difference between machine finish and machine glazed is based on the process used to make the tissue paper and the machines the tissue is produced on.
  • Machine finish tissue has a smooth finish which at the time of the papermaking process. The process is called calendaring and uses a heavy metal cylinder, rather than as a separate manufacturing operation.
  • Machine finish papers are often coated by machine on one or two sides and typically a premium quality tissue in terms of finish and texture. MF is traditionally considered to be the best quality produced on a Foudrinnier machine. Both sides have a fluffy finish and the lay down of the fibre should be the most even. Mostly MF tissue is specified as acid free and bleed resistant. It is glazed and finished on both sides.
  • On the other hand, there is a noticeable difference in the finish on the two sides of machine finished tissue paper which is usually uncoated. MG is produced on a smaller Yankee Cylinder machine. The Yankee Cylinder imparts a glazed surface on one side. The paper is initially made with no texturing or finishing and then the paper is fried over a heating cylinder where a high-gloss finish is applied only one side.
  • Plush tissue is produced on a Garden Nets machine and is normally the lowest quality tissue paper produced.
  • As MF is not very common in Australia since the closure of the European ELK tissue paper brand, our MF quality comes from the largest tissue paper producer in China and tends to be very competitive.
  • We buy MG from a JV factory. Consequently they are more expensive than the Chinese factories. We do not believe we can be competitive with this quality in future as the foreign JV partner wants to increase the price.
Is acid free gift wrapping tissue food grade?

Gift wrap tissue paper is not food grade and should not be used for food applications other than packing of packaged food and say fruit. Specialised food grade tissue papers are produced specifically to be used with food and have different properties to gift wrapping tissue paper.