Your business card is extremely important, because it is part of the equation when potential clients form their first impression of you and your company. Therefore, a high-quality, professionally-printed card is critical. This is not an area for self-service; always hire a reputable printing company to produce your business cards.
Top-notch business card printers typically offer a variety of cardstocks to choose from. One such cardstock option at the high end of the quality scale is silk, sometimes referred to as silk-satin. This is one of the classiest and most elegant cardstocks you will ever see.
First and foremost, lets talk about what exactly the silk is comprised of. The silky coating is accomplished via silk-lamination, typically on 10pt or 15pt cardstock. This laminate coating is completely unnoticeable and invisible unless you try to tear the card. If you try and rip a silk business card, you will see the ultra-thin, transparent layer of silk-laminate peel away from the card.
It is this lamination which gives silk business cards their uniqueness. For one, it makes the cards more durable. The laminate coating makes the cards a little more difficult to tear, and helps minimize the possibility of corners and edges getting frayed.
Additionally, the silk lamination is completely writeable, meaning you can write on the card with pens, pencils, and markers with ease. This is a nice feature and is something that is not possible with glossy business cards. This attribute works well for jotting down appointments, so it is particularly appropriate for doctors, dentists, attorneys, or similar professionals.
Another key attribute of silk cards is that they are non-glossy, which eliminates the common inconveniences associated with glossy business cards such as fingerprinting, streaks, smudges, and the cards sticking together.
Glossy business cards are coated with a varnish-like substance known as glossy UV (ultra-violet), which is completely different from the lamination associated with silk business cards. It is this glossy varnish that creates the aforementioned inconveniences. Conversely, non-shiny silk lamination eliminates these types of problems.
Additionally, the non-shiny look is more upscale and elegant. Many people correctly perceive glossy UV business cards to be a relatively low end business card product. The non-shiny look seems to be in these days, which positively influences peoples perception of quality.
Finally, the durability and composition of the silk cardstock make it the best choice for business card enhancement features like spot UV, embossing, and foil stamping.
Spot UV business cards in particular offer a unique look, as the areas treated with the spot UV are slightly raised and shiny compared to the non-shiny silk cardstock. Thus, the treated areas jump off the page and provide a striking visual impact. It would not be possible to produce spot UV business cards on an inherently glossy cardstock.
Embossing also works better on silk business cards. Embossing is the process of raising certain design elements by virtue of them getting pushed through from the backside. The net effect is similar to the account number on a standard credit card, where the numbers are raised on the front and recessed on the back. As you can probably guess, embossing is a delicate process that puts much stress on the cardstock, and thus is a more appropriate enhancement feature for durable business cards like silk.
To sum it all up, silk business cards are laminated, durable, writable, non-glossy, and support enhancement features. Outside of metal business cards or plastic business cards, silk cards are generally considered the highest-end business cardstock in the market today. They have an elegant look and feel, and do not have the same inconveniences as glossy business cards.