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What's with this "It's made of Paper"?

All of our products use a layered paper composite called Richlite. Our iPhone SE/5s/5 case uses about 100 sheets of stacked paper. Our X/XS cases use about 20. Our unique fused laminate is always stronger than solid wood, and our cases prove it!

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 wood product without all of the splitting and cracking found in solid wood or bamboo. Perfect for something like an iPhone case, or all the other stuff we make!

Can I rock out and watch how Richlite makes their sustainable recycled material?



Does anyone else make cases out of Richlite?

Though Richlite has been around since the 40's, and originally used in aerospace applications, we were the first to create a case from it, and the first to machine it to the tolerances required to make an iPhone case!

Since Twig Case Co. paved the way, we've seen other "innovative" case companies attempt copies using less efficient and inconsistent processes with "plant fiber" and solid surface material. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

We machine tested the competitor's "plant fiber" material when we first designed our unique 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 competitor copy-cats have now discovered for themselves. Meow.)

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 wood or bamboo materials used. However, without proper certification they have no credible link to back up their claims. Some companies even state that because "they" know where their wood comes from, you shouldn't worry!

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.

If you'd like to see Richlite's certification, have a look at their site!

What finish do you use on your cases?

Unlike most veneer-based case makers, solid paper Twig cases require no lacquer, varnish, mineral oil, or other spray-on plastic finishes. Your natural hand oil is the best finish you can find! Our cases will slightly darken naturally in a very short time.

There is no need to dip or soak your Twig Case in oil to prevent cracking of the paper or bamboo. We do apply a small amount of natural oil to the back of our bamboo and walnut cases. 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...ok, maybe the iPhone 12 is cool with swimming.

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 - 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?

Our solid paper and bamboo cases and Paperbacks feel 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. It's warm.

How durable is a Twig Case?

Richlite makes our cases durable, not bamboo or wood. If you're shopping for wood iPhone cases 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 Richlite paper composite resists scratches, our laser designs are resistant to wear and our paper cases resist bending better than any solid bamboo, solid wood case or wood veneer case out there!

That said, if you are prone to dropping your iPhone repeatedly on hard surfaces you might want a different case.  

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.

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.

How do I install my iPhone in my case?

Our recent iPhone cases have flexible sides, so you can snap the case on with no worries. To remove your iPhone, we recommend gently pushing your iPhone out via the camera cutout, over a soft surface in case your iPhone gets away from you. As with anything, don't force it. 

When installing or removing your iPhone from our solid paper iPhone SE/5s/5 & 4s/4 slider cases, 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).

What's with the leaf cutout on your SE/5s cases?

Most wood iPhone 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, and translates to better pictures for you. Plus, a leaf! How cool is that?

Are your cases made in America?

As much as we can source locally, we do. Everything is machined from start to finish in Minnesota. Even our packaging is made locally. Almost everything that goes into making a Twig Case is made in the U.S.

Our exclusive Richlite/bamboo/walnut material is compressed, baked and fused at Richlite's Tacoma, Washington factory, creating a single, stronger, more durable surface to engrave than other bamboo or wood 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 - it's one piece.

Why do you sometimes say bamboo "grass" in your 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. The over-harvesting of many woods is why we focus on rapidly renewable bamboo. 

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, then compressed and fused into the Richlite at the factory. It is resistant to everyday wear, moisture and pencil doodling. 

How big is your case? How about the headphone jack and charging port?

iPhone X and onward uses magic to make your headphones work. The lightning port hole will easily work with most good quality cables.

Our iPhone SE/8/7/Plus cases come with extra courage and have no headphone jack hole. ;) The lightning port hole is designed to work best with the Apple supplied Lightning cable, but will work with non-oversize aftermarket cables.

Our iPhone 6/6s and 6/6s Plus cases work best with stock Apple headphones, and Lightning charge cables. Please keep that in mind when purchasing new accessories.

Our iPhone SE/5s/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.

Here's some approximate measurements of our iPhone 4s/4 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 SE/5s/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 original iPhone 4s/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 solid paper Twig Case is easily removable for charging or docking.

Can I use a screen protector with a Twig Case?

Most front screen protectors will work just fine, and applying them once you have your Twig Case on your iPhone even helps align it correctly! Is there nothing we can't do?

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 SE/5s/5 or 4s/4 Twig Case!

A front screen protector is usable if it fits inside and not underneath the bezel area.
Inside bezel area is approximately:

141mm T x 68mm W for our iPhone X/S case
135mm T x 65mm W for our iPhone 7/8 case
156mm T x 76mm W for our iPhone 7/8 Plus case
133mm T x 62mm W for our iPhone 6/6s case
155mm T x 74mm W for our 6/6s Plus case
120.6mm T x 55.5mm W for our iPhone SE/5s/5 case
112.5mm T x 55.5mm W for our iPhone 4s/4 case

Why do your cases look so much better than others?

We developed our exclusive Richlite material in 2011. Unlike our friends in the wood sticker business, we engrave right through our Bamboo or color top sheet into contrasting material itself. The black you see on our Bamboo case? That's the black Richlite showing through where our lasers have vaporized the bamboo. Not surface paint, not inkjet prints - it's real engraving.

The result is real, durable contrast you'll only find with us. You can try wood inlays, but you can't get the detail we can - we should know, we've inlayed heirloom guitars (and our own cases!). You can glue a veneer to another, but glued veneers flake off after a short time. Only our exclusive fused Richlite is durable enough for a iPhone case. 

Laser engraving wood leaves a burned, resiny residue. We've actually seen the other guys leave it on and call that contrast, skip the finish work required to remove it, spray their sealer over it, or not even see it. Amateur hour. You gonna put that on your iPhone?

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.

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

We like to think so :) 

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