what is the difference between white core and solid core cardstock

What is the Difference Between White Core Cardstock and Solid Core Cardstock?

Solid core cardstock, color core cardstock and white core cardstock. What the heck does that all mean and what is the difference? Today we are going to talk about the manufacturing of cardstock and how that affects the color you see when you tear or cut into a piece of cardstock. 

Crafters tend to prefer either white core cardstock or color core cardstock for various reasons, but there are definitely times when one is better than the other. 

Let's explore what the difference is between white core cardstock and color core cardstock and then we'll talk about why you might prefer one over the other. 

At 12x12 Cardstock Shop, all of our solid cardstock has color inside. Some of our specialty papers like glitter cardstock and foil cardstock have a white core, as the specialty surfaces are often printed or overlaid on white cardstock. That is pretty typical of those types of products. 

What is white core cardstock? 

The term white core cardstock means that the cardstock has color on both the top and bottom, but the inside is white. If you tear a piece of white core cardstock you will see a white edge. 

what is white core cardstock graphic

White core cardstock is typically made by printing color onto white cardstock, or layering sheets of color onto the top and bottom of a white piece of paper and then compressing them into a single sheet.

The benefit of white core cardstock is that it is typically a less expensive option. Most pattern scrapbook paper has a white core, as do some lines of cardstock.

In addition, some crafters are actually looking to get a white edge on torn papers as it provides a nice contrast. 

One downside of white core cardstock is that when you fold it (like for the fold of a card), the white core often shows through on the fold. And when it is die cut, you can see white edges as well.

What is solid core cardstock?

Solid core cardstock has color all the way through the paper. This means there is no white core, but rather color inside the paper as well as outside the paper.

solid core cardstock

The benefit of this is that torn edges show color, and folds and cuts have color on the edges too. Paper with a color core is often considered higher quality paper.

Paper that does not have a white core is often lumped into the solid core cardstock category, but there are actually two sub categories of solid core cardstock; true solid core cardstock and color core cardstock. 

Industry wide, the difference between color core cardstock and solid core cardstock isn't really emphasized and we tend to just classify papers as white core or solid core. 

What is the difference between solid core cardstock and color core cardstock? 

solid core versus color core cardstock

In short, solid core cardstock has the same color inside as it has on the top and bottom. Color core cardstock, has a colored core, but it may be slightly lighter or darker than the top and bottom of the paper. 

The reason for this slight variation in the center of the cardstock is in the method that is used to dye the paper. Solid core cardstock is created by dying the raw paper pulp before the paper is formed into sheets, so the entire paper is the same color. Color core cardstock gets its color by dying the paper after it is formed into sheets. Thus the center of the paper may not have as deep of a dye as the outer edges. 

Solid Core Cardstock Brands

Bazzill Cardstock is solid core cardstock. The color in the center of the paper is the same as the color on the edge. 

what is solid core cardstock

Here are some other solid core cardstock lines:

Color Core Cardstock Brands

As I mentioned before, the distinction between solid core and color core is often very slight. So slight in fact, that they are just typically lumped together. 

what is color core cardstock

Here's a few of our color core cardstock lines:

In those paper lines above the color difference between the core and the top color is very slight, but there are paper lines where the core color is intentionally lightened. Core'dinations Sandable Cardstock has much lighter core colors on purpose. This paper looks really cool when torn because of the contrast.

sandable cardstock with a color core

One of our favorite techniques with this paper is to emboss and then sand off the top layer of cardstock on the embossed parts. The result is the coolest distressed look. 

I hope this article about cardstock has helped you understand a bit more about how cardstock is made and explained the difference between white core cardstock and solid core cardstock.


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