Types and Properties of Security Paper

Many use security labels to secure their products. But when it comes to securing certain kinds of documents, what is one to do? The paper or substrate on which documents are printed can offer basic security. Many types of security paper are available for purchase directly from merchants and can be bought in bulk to provide overall security. This makes security paper a far more cost-effective means of securing documents than other methods.

Sandwich Paper

Also called colour rip, sandwich paper contained a coloured leave in the centre, with two paper layers on either side. When ripped or torn, the colour would be revealed to make tampering obvious. Because this kind of paper can still be successfully copied, it is a good solution where light security is required.

The thinner the sandwich paper, the more difficult it can be to counterfeit, as three layers of paper would need to be glued together. And even so, an illegal copy could still easily be identified. The situations where sandwich paper is the solution are those where the threat of counterfeiting is low.


CBS1 paper does not reflect ultraviolet light, which makes it ideal for printing with ultraviolet security inks. In addition, this paper type has resistance to particular chemicals that could be used to alter the document. These chemicals include bleach, water and various other solvents.

CBS1 paper is also ideal for overprinting using a laser printer. The document has porous properties that allow ink to penetrate the paper, making it more difficult to alter names, figures, dates and numbers, such as that found on cheques.

Security Threads

CBS1 security threads are rolled between CBS1 paper layers, which require expensive machinery to be able to be read. This makes them incredibly difficult to copy. Holographic threads are another type of security thread that is commonly used. However, the verification of holographic security threads must be thoroughly vetted.

UV Fibres

CBS1 paper can also contain UV fibres. These are pre-added to CBS1 paper and will show as coloured flecks when the right light is shone upon them. The flecks can also be visible to the naked eye, and so be obvious to anyone attempting to counterfeit. The fact that this paper is not easy to acquire presents an additional hardship to the would-be counterfeiter.


Picophan one a common type of tear-resistant security paper. This type of paper consists of two layers or paper with a layer of tough plastic between them. Paper with tear-resistant properties is usually very useful for situations where documents need to be able to withstand conditions like water contamination, general wear and tear or the passing to more than one person or location.

Heavy Stock

Although CBS1 is most commonly used in security applications, there are situations that call for a heavier weight to be used.

There are products with UV dullness available for purchase. However, it must be ensure that a viable printing method is used on this thicker material. As well, some printing processes will require the paper to be processed in sheets or rolls.

Bespoke Watermark

Covering both custom watermark and standard watermark design, this paper type can be purchased off-the-shelf or printed with a company’s logo or text. Watermarks are notoriously difficult to copy, and usually, the more complex a logo is, the more difficult it is for a counterfeiter to copy.

Because no two types of security paper offer the same level of protection, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research each type and choose the one that you are sure will meet your needs before having your documents printed.