Paper Phenolic has layers of very fine paper embedded into the phenolic resin. These layers are very fine and nearly invisible making the polished piece look jet black with little or no grain or pattern visible and a very smooth finish.
Micarta(tm) is a Trademark of Norplex-Micarta. The term Micarta is often incorrectly used as a common reference to what should be referred to as phenolic laminate. Micarta is a specific product from Norplex-Micarta.