FAQ

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Twig Cases are made of paper?

Yes. Our cases are made from a paper composite called Richlite. Each iPhone case equals about 100 sheets of stacked paper. A layered laminate is always stronger than solid wood and our cases have a hundred of them.

What is Richlite?

Richlite is a unique, US-made product produced from FSC® Certified Eucalyptus trees from responsibly managed forests in Brazil and FSC® Certified softwoods from Sweden. The wood is first turned into pulp and made into paper. The paper is dyed, then layered and baked with an eco-friendly resin creating a dense, consistent plant product without all of the splitting characteristics found in solid wood or bamboo. Perfect for something like, say, an iPhone or iPad case.

Does anyone else make cases out of Richlite?

No, we are the first, as well as the only iPhone case maker Certified by the Rainforest Alliance to the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM(FSC®) standards. Richlite was developed during WWII for the aerospace industry; since then other manufacturers have sprung up using less efficient and inconsistent processes with "plant fiber."

After machine testing every other "plant fiber" competitor material of Richlite when we first designed our iPhone 4 case in 2011, it was clear why Richlite - with its unique paper laminate composite - was the industry leader. While plant fiber composite can make for a fine, thick kitchen countertop, we found it far more brittle than Richlite when machined to thin tolerances. (As our competitors are now finding out ;)

Twig was the first to make this material viable in the cell phone case industry. Since then, other case companies have followed our model using plant fiber composite (and now, plastic they call "solid surface") as they're not able to get our exclusive Richlite material.

What does being FSC® & Rainforest Alliance Certified mean?

You'll see several iPhone case companies use the terms "all natural," "eco-friendly" or "organic" when describing their materials used. However, without proper Certification theyhave no credible link to back up their claims.

Twig Case is the only iPhone case company on the market Certified to the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM and Rainforest Alliance's mark of responsible forestry. The FSC®is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests.

FSC® Certification provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of plant products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment.

What finish do you use on your cases?

Solid paper Twig cases require no lacquer, varnish, mineral oil, or other finishes. Your natural hand oil is the best finish you can find. Our cases will slightly darken naturally in a very short time. The bezel on some of our colored cases can be lighter than the body of the case. Expect it to darken with use.

There is no need to dip your bamboo veneered case in oil to prevent cracking of the bamboo veneer. We do apply a light amount of mineral oil to the back of these. If you prefer a darker, more shiny finish you may do so as well.

Will water damage the case?

Nope, though we recommend you take your phone out before you clean it, as iPhones are not water resistant. ;)

Richlite is used for countertops, cutting boards, precision guitar fingerboards and outdoor skateboard parks, all water resistant. If you do get our case wet, just set it aside until it is dry - microsuede loses some of its friction when wet, and we don't recommend leaving an iPhone in a wet case.

Is the case heavy?

Because our paper composite is stronger than solid wood we're able to make a less bulky case than most wood or bamboo grass cases you see on the market. It weighs about the same as 3 or 4 quarters - under an ounce.

How does a Twig Case feel when holding it?

It feels like that expensive, heavy stock paper you wish everything could be printed on. We've heard it described as feeling similar to dense ebony wood, leather, and antique books.

Can you make a solid white case?

No. Richlite doesn't offer solid white because the majority of the material would be made of resinous plastic, not paper. We encourage customers who want a solid white case to go with a plastic option. Our "all-natural" competitors already have!

How durable is a Twig Case?

Richlite makes our cases durable, not bamboo. If you're out there case shopping keep that in mind. Twig Cases are more durable than wood and bamboo grass cases, but are not indestructible. They will protect your iPhone from the bumps and scrapes of everyday normal use. Our paper composite resists scratches and our laser designs are resistant to wear. That said, if you are prone to dropping your iPhone on hard surfaces you might want a different case.

We did a video. Don't try this at home.

How do I care for my case?

Your Twig case needs no special care. If you need to clean it, we recommend a damp cloth or soft toothbrush dampened with water. If you remove your iPhone often, please take care to keep the inside of your case clean. Dust and dirt work their way into any case! Compressed air, or a gentle swipe with a toothbrush will take care of most pocket lint, pup hairs, or dust.

When installing or removing your iPhone from the case, take care not to push on the power or volume buttons! Our buttons are designed to work great with an iPhone installed. Sliding your iPhone in or out of the case while touching the buttons can overextend them or worse, slam them into the sides of your iPhone's buttons. When removing your case, we recommend gently pulling it off using the bezel at the top and bottom of the iPhone, and not the sides (as that just makes it hold on tight).

Twig Cases also enjoy quiet walks along a moonlit beach or park, candlelight dinners, and occasional flowers. Singing a quiet song to your Twig Case is recommended.

Can I write on your cases?

Yes, with chalk or pencil. Remind Mary to pick up bread in the morning or let Dick know he needs to take the trash out before he leaves. You can doodle pencil designs on it all day and wipe if off before tomorrow's business meeting.

What's with the leaf cutout?

Most cases you see have a tiny hole wrapped around the lens and flash. Apple recommends a much larger hole, called the 'keepout'. Because Richlite is stronger than wood, we were able to make the keepout larger than any wood or bamboo case, which means less flash interference in darkened situations, andtranslates to better pictures for you. Plus, a leaf! How cool is that?

Are your cases made in America?

Yes, from start to finish in Minnesota. Even our packaging is made locally. Everything that goes into a Twig Case is made in the U.S.

Do any other case companies use FSC® Certified bamboo?

Unfortunately, NO. However, we encourage you to email them directly and ask that they source Certified bamboo. Some companies will say their "supplier is certified." This doesn't mean their material is.

The rapid growth in demand for bamboo over the last two decades has caused excessive exploitation of forest resources. This has resulted in serious disturbance and destruction of the biodiversity of ecosystems in bamboo forests. If bamboo and wood are not FSC® Certified there is no credible link ensuring it's coming from responsibly managed forests that promote biodiversity. We like bamboo too, but only .5% of our bamboo veneered case is made of it and we make sure that the half of percent is from responsible sources. The Eucalyptus trees used to make our paper can be re-harvested every three to seven years and are FSC® certified.

Our exclusive FSC® Certified Richlite/bamboo veneer is compressed, baked and fused into the paper composite at their Tacoma, WA factory, creating a stronger, more durable surface to engrave than other bamboo cases. With this process, we're able to laser engrave straight through the bamboo and into the Richlite, which allows us countless design options and bolder contrast in the engraving work. No cyanoacrylates (super-glues) are used to bond our bamboo to our paper composite.

Why do you sometimes say bamboo "grass" in your ad copy?

Bamboo is a species of grass and commonly misrepresented and/or mistaken as a wood species. Our background is in guitar construction where many wood species are used.

How are your two-toned cases made?

The last sheet of paper on our exclusive Richlite two-toned cases is silkscreened with one of our selected Pantone colors and compressed and baked into the Richlite at the factory. It is resistant to everyday wear, moisture and frequent pencil doodling.

How big is your case? How about the headphone jack and 30 pin cutout?

Our case is pretty thin - thinner than many rubber or plastic cases.

Here's some approximate measurements of our iPhone 4/4S case:

12.85 mm thick, face to back, including bezel (bamboo, add .6mm)
64.25 mm wide
121 mm tall
bezel approximately 1.35mm above the screen
Our iPhone 5 case is even thinner!
11.10 mm thick, face to back, including bezel (bamboo, add .6mm)
64 mm wide
129.3 mm tall
bezel approximately 1.35mm above the screen


Our iPhone 4 case headphone jack cutout is 7.3mm, which fits most 1/8" headphone plugs. Our 30 pin docking cutout easily fits OEM adaptors and is rounded on the edges. Some rectangular shaped aftermarket adaptors may not fit, in which case, the bottom of a Twig Case is easily removable for charging or docking.

Our iPhone 5 case headphone jack is 7.2 mm. Our port for the Lightning charger is for use with the included Apple Lightning cable. Other 3rd party cables, or Apple 30-pin/Lightning adapters may not fit.

Can I use a screen protector with a Twig Case?

Twig Cases are machined to teeny tiny tolerances that ensure a perfect fit on your iPhone. Back protectors add varying amounts of unknown thickness, stress the case, the iPhone, and your patience.

Do not use a back protector with a Twig Case!

A front screen protector is usable if it fits inside and not underneath the bezel area.
Inside bezel area is:
112.5mm T x 55.5mm W for our iPhone 4/4S case.
120.6mm T x 55.5mm W for our iPhone 5 case.

Can I send you my artwork to laser into the case?

Yes, but it must be a non-trademarked, copyright-free image in black and white with no grayscale. See our custom page for more.

Are you accepting original illustration art submissions?

We support and promote independent illustration artists. Send us an email with a link to your work.

What's your background?

John Woodland and Jon Lucca founded Twig Case Company in October, 2011.

Woodland's background in guitar construction and design has yielded him two patents and accolades from happy customers. The idea for an iPhone case came while designing a custom, 100% FSC ® Certified guitar model for musician Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, at the same time the iPhone 4s was introduced.

After purchasing several wood and bamboo iPhone cases it was clear to him it could be done better. How? With the unique, ebony-like paper composite Woodland had machined for years and chose for Tweedy's sustainable guitar fingerboard and bridge. After teaming up with childhood-friend and designer Jon Lucca, Twig Case Co. was born and Tweedy actually became Twig's first customer. We've even framed the dollar.

So, this is like the world's greatest eco-friendly iPhone case ever then?

We like to think so :)

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