Saturday, October 24, 2020


collage by hhc
Hello Swappers,  

There has been some controversy about what qualifies as a "Post Card."  Following US Postal guidelines helps us affix proper postage to be sure that our mail art gets delivered to the intended recipient (and/or that he or she doesn't have to pay to pick it up).

When I was in two online Fabric Post Card groups years ago, I was shocked to hand my thick collaged fabric art over the postal counter and be charged $3.00 to send it domestically.  So I understand that not everyone automatically knows postal regulations.  (Incidentally, different postal clerks interpret the guidelines differently...)

The clearest information is available by going to the official USPS online site.

Here's a summary:

"Post Cards" must be at least 3+1/2" high by 5" long/wide.

Maximum size is 4+1/4" high by 6" long/wide.

Maximum thickness is 0.016" thick.  How do we measure that?  Lacking a fine gauge, I'm guessing it's about one or two copy-paper thicknesses.  

As if that wasn't daunting enough, our art must be able to bend around a 45-degree angle when our mail goes whizzing through the lightning-fast sorting machines.  I saw a video of this process while in training for a post office position, and I could not even focus on the envelopes speeding by.  

That's why I recommend the "smiley-frownie" test, or, bending your art over the edge of a table or counter top to see if it's flexible. 

Art that is larger than the USPS Post Card limits requires First Class postage of 55-cents for starters.

Stiff/thick art requires NON-MACHINEABLE postage of 70-cents.

Please check with your local/area postmaster when in doubt.

I really don't mind if you send in thicker or stiffer or larger art than the post card specifications, but I do appreciate it if the artist includes the correct postage for when I send the art out from here. 

Thank you.  Honi


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