A paper grade consisting of a related variety of lightweight cardboard stocks, used for printing, filing, indexing, and mailing. Bristols possess high strength, and are often used for covers of reports, pamphlets, catalogs, etc. The surface is treated to accept ink readily with a minimum of ink setoff, and the surface also has high abrasion resistance which allows it to stand up well under erasing. Printing bristol papers are manufactured using chemical pulp and finishes are usually smooth or vellum. Printing bristols are also usually uncoated. Vellum-finish bristol is commonly used in offset printing and has many desirable surface characteristics. Postal bristol paper is manufactured for use in postcards and has a smooth surface suited to writing with pen-and-ink. Coated bristol papers are either coated one side or coated two sides and are used for covers or for picture postcards.
The basic size for bristol paper is 22H x 28H and is available in basis weights of 67, 80, 100, 120, 140, and 160-pound. Standard sizes are 22H x 28H, 23 x 35, and 26 x 40. A separate paper grade, index paper is occasionally called index bristol. See Index Paper.