Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: What paper qualities do you look for?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    338
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 252 Times in 119 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default What paper qualities do you look for?

    Today I received a parcel with my first dollop of "non-cheapo" paper. Rhodia seems to have a good reputation, as does Clairefontaine, so I got myself an A4 Rhodia pad and a small matching pocket notepad, and a pocketable Clairefontaine pad. Finally, I got an A6 sketchpad with 150gsm cartridge paper, which seems fairly well behaved.

    Having been used to cheapo generic notepads, I was unfamiliar with what property differences I might discover. As such, I really didn't know what to expect. Having now put pen to paper on three of these items, I now have a better understanding of how papers differ, and am starting to get a picture in mind of what I want.

    What do YOU look for in paper?

    I'll start us off...

    Letter Writing:
    Show through and bleed through is not all that relevant to me, as I only one one side of the page for letters. Old habit. However, I don't want to much as to make the paper seem "cheap". The paper must look/feel like I got it for writing letters. No left hand perforation tears, no holes punched, 80gsm absolute minimum (for in-hand feel only), 100gsm preferred. Must either have faint lines, or preferably a line guide placed beneath must show through clearly. Dry time irrelevant - it just has to dry before I've finished the next page. Minimal feathering/no feathering, depending who I'm writing to. No snag, no squeak.

    Pocket Notebook:
    I want to see my writing clearly on both sides of the page. A little show through or spot bleed is acceptable, so long as it doesn't impede too much on what's written on the reverse side. Quick dry time - I want to be able to turn the page and keep writing almost straight away. No snag, no squeak. Minimal feathering. Lines or grid preferred.

    Writing for Keeping/Filing:
    If I want to record stuff like recipes, plans, or anything I need to refer back to, I want to be able to use both sides. Minimal showthrough/bleed, just like with the pocket pad. For recipes, I'll happily use both sides. For plans/records, I'll use one side, and leave the reverse clear to add further notes later. No snag, no squeak. Minimal feathering. Dry time not critical. Lines or grid preferred.

    Daily Scribbles:
    For just working through stuff in my head, processing ideas, writing shopping lists, quick phone notes, and daily disposable stuff, cheap is fine. Pukka Pad, or other generic A4 lined pads are fine. No point in wasting money on stuff I wont be referring back to after the next two or three days. No snag, no squeak, moderate feathering tolerable. Quick dry time essential. Lines preferred, but I might ignore them.

    Price:
    This is a general "unwritten" rule I tend to use for everything, whether related to pens or not. If I can use cheap, I will. The daily scribbles pad is what I consider cheap. So is box basic copier paper. Premium to me, or what I'll pay for premium, is cheap x2. If a cheap pad (of whatever size/thickness) is £2 for a usable pad, then I'll pay up to £4 for a decent/better one. Anything over £4 can go whistle. This applies to other pen stuff too, such as inks. Diamine standard inks have been working just great for me, so I won't pay more than double on a per ml equivalent. (as I can get a functioning pen for under £5, it also means I won't pay more than £10 for a pen)

    Smoothness/tooth/feedback:
    To be perfectly honest, I'm not really bothered. So long as there's no squeak, snag, drag, chatter, furring, or feathering like I'm writing on a loo roll, the texture of the paper is kind of a moot point. I'm as happy writing on cartridge paper or glassy smooth paper, so long as the ink behaves without skipping or flooding the page. As an analogy, I don't mind walking on flagstones, carpet, tiles, grass, mud, or scree, just so long as I've got the footwear to suit.

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Wuddus For This Useful Post:

    Ahriman4891 (June 4th, 2018), azkid (May 22nd, 2018), catbert (May 22nd, 2018), KKay (July 13th, 2018), Lady Onogaro (June 3rd, 2018)

  3. #2
    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Bi-hemispherical Global Nomad
    Posts
    2,345
    Thanks
    564
    Thanked 2,840 Times in 994 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    I like a variety of papers surfaces & degree of sizing. The paper needs to show off the ink colours and not be too yellow in tone. I don’t have a favourite weight or am bothered by show-through. Obviously feathering & bleed through are undesirable characteristics.

    Nearly all my preferred papers are from Japan (Graphilo, Life, Tomoegawa, sumi-e etc) , Italy (eg Fabriano) or the Philippines (Elias). A few German papers make for good letter-writing & ink sketching especially Hahnemühle. I somehow don’t get on with French papers, especially from the Exacompta stable, incl Clairefontaine & Rhodia, although lightweight (50 & 60gsm) ClairPrint paper is great for airmail letters.

  4. #3
    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    314
    Thanks
    455
    Thanked 265 Times in 125 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Great topic. Feathering makes me cRaZy. That is #1 priority.

    I like to be able to use both sides of notebooks so bleed through matters quite a bit there (probably not for letters)

    One that didn't occur to me before, page to page consistency is important.

    I also try for lower cost if the above are met. Not looking for cheapest crap in the store though. For reference, Apica CD11 notebooks are a good price to me and prices for various Clairefontaine A5 are acceptable.

    Per other thread I prefer a little feedback. So not too picky. If the paper meets the above I bet the texture is fine.

  5. #4
    Senior Member VertOlive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lone Star Planet
    Posts
    3,315
    Thanks
    3,315
    Thanked 3,088 Times in 1,333 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    I experimented with lots of different papers during my first couple of InCo' s and settled for Tomoe River. It doesn't bleed or feather, I can write on both sides, and it has no "teeth". Plus I can use stamps on it if I want to give it some personality.

    My letters and journals all use this paper. If I'm studying, I use a yellow legal pad and pencil.
    “Non nobis solum nati sumus." ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to VertOlive For This Useful Post:

    Lady Onogaro (June 3rd, 2018)

  7. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    55
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Well, the first for me is bleeding. I really really hate paper that bleed through. The second will be feathering. A little bit is ok if the paper is cheaper but I do not prefer none

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to aaronp For This Useful Post:

    KKay (June 3rd, 2018), Lady Onogaro (June 3rd, 2018)

  9. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    I can't abide feather, spread, or bleed through. I don't like show through because I like to use both sides.

    I prefer the substantial feel of heavier stock paper.

    I kind of don't care about smoothness or color (within reason). I rather like the way a cream colored paper darkens a blue ink, or the sepia tones with a brownish ink. With the more whimsical colors, i tend to stick with whiter papers.

    I like blank paper. Dots are okay. Lines are okay. I'm not a big fan of grid...

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to although For This Useful Post:

    Lady Onogaro (June 3rd, 2018)

  11. #7
    Senior Member jbb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    608
    Thanks
    206
    Thanked 501 Times in 201 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    For dip pens, which I'm partial to, there's a quality in some (often vintage) paper that allows you to get really fine lines. I also love watermarked paper. My favorite paper weights are 13 lb. and 16 lb. -- also more common with vintage than modern paper.
    JBBPensPaper an Etsy store

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to jbb For This Useful Post:

    Lady Onogaro (June 3rd, 2018)

  13. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    338
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 252 Times in 119 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbb View Post
    For dip pens, which I'm partial to, there's a quality in some (often vintage) paper that allows you to get really fine lines. I also love watermarked paper. My favorite paper weights are 13 lb. and 16 lb. -- also more common with vintage than modern paper.
    I've never heard paper weights classified that way. Any idea how that equates in gsm?

  14. #9
    Senior Member jbb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    608
    Thanks
    206
    Thanked 501 Times in 201 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jbb View Post
    For dip pens, which I'm partial to, there's a quality in some (often vintage) paper that allows you to get really fine lines. I also love watermarked paper. My favorite paper weights are 13 lb. and 16 lb. -- also more common with vintage than modern paper.
    I've never heard paper weights classified that way. Any idea how that equates in gsm?
    I only know the weight in lbs. but here's an online conversion calculator https://okpaper.com/toolbox/calculators/calc-lbs-gsm
    JBBPensPaper an Etsy store

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to jbb For This Useful Post:

    KKay (July 13th, 2018)

  16. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    338
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 252 Times in 119 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?



    That tool says 13 lbs is 19gsm, and 16lbs is 24gsm.

    Here, standard copier paper is about 80gsm. We don't appear to be on the same page... if you'll pardon the pun...


  17. #11
    Senior Member jbb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    608
    Thanks
    206
    Thanked 501 Times in 201 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post


    That tool says 13 lbs is 19gsm, and 16lbs is 24gsm.

    Here, standard copier paper is about 80gsm. We don't appear to be on the same page... if you'll pardon the pun...

    Standard copy paper is 20 lb..... and onionskin paper is 9 lb. --- does that help any??
    JBBPensPaper an Etsy store

  18. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    338
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 252 Times in 119 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post


    That tool says 13 lbs is 19gsm, and 16lbs is 24gsm.

    Here, standard copier paper is about 80gsm. We don't appear to be on the same page... if you'll pardon the pun...

    Standard copy paper is 20 lb..... and onionskin paper is 9 lb. --- does that help any??
    OK, I don't know what onionskin paper is, but I can see that you do indeed prefer a thinner paper, so it is a bit clearer now. Thank you

  19. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 3 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbb View Post

    I only know the weight in lbs. but here's an online conversion calculator https://okpaper.com/toolbox/calculators/calc-lbs-gsm
    Pounds, ounces, feet, inches, etc., It's hard to imagine how the US made it to the moon after having decided to keep the idiotic measuring system inherited from the British. Oh, wait, that was Von Braun's doing. He used the metric system.

    In the metric system, a paper's grammage is expressed by the weight of a single, 1 square meter, sheet of paper. It's indicated using either "gsm" or "g/m2." It couldn't be simpler or more logical.

    In the other, idiotic, system, the "weight" refers to the weight of a "standard" (hah!) uncut ream of that same paper, and its only further complicated by the fact that 500 sheets is not the standard ream for all kinds of paper, and the uncut size also varies from one type to the other.

    Here are two good sources if you're curious:



    alex

  20. #14
    Senior Member KKay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    628
    Thanks
    1,870
    Thanked 246 Times in 169 Posts
    Rep Power
    3

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    I dislike bleeding through to the back side of the page, as well as feathering. I don't mind a little bit of spread.

  21. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    94
    Thanks
    691
    Thanked 52 Times in 28 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    @Wuddus -- interesting that you don't like the dot grid, or at least you haven't mentioned it. I prefer dots with Rhodia -- they use very strong purplish blue for their ruling, and I think lines or grids would add too much noise to the page. Although I'll happily use blank paper.

    Not much to add to all the other responses. I don't like bleed-through or feathering, but can live with a bit of show-through. There are some papers that work great in combination with some pens. E.g. I have an Aurora pen with pleasant feedback, and writing on Fabriano paper -- which itself has quite a prominent texture -- is an interesting experience that I enjoy very much. I'm still exploring various papers, just tried Tomoe River for the first time this past weekend.

    P.S.
    Here in the USA, Muji paper is good value for money -- about as good as Rhodia, but cheaper. It's mostly cream instead of white, but some inks look good on cream paper.
    Last edited by Ahriman4891; June 4th, 2018 at 07:39 PM.

  22. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    338
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 252 Times in 119 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    To be honest, dot grid just hasn't appealed to me - yet. No reason, I just haven't been drawn in that direction. I haven't seen Muji paper here in the UK, but I'll keep an eye out for it.

  23. #17
    Member BlkWhiteFilmPix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    at my standup writing desk
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    47
    Thanked 23 Times in 11 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Dot grid in notebooks, since I occasionally draw in them. Leuchtturm Pocket A6, and Master A4+. The paper does well with fountain pen ink, and minimal bleed through even with wet nibs makes writing on both sides of the page possible. Switched to Leuchtturm from Rhodia for the whiter paper.

    Minimal bleed-through, with Rhodia dot pads, a No. 12 carried with me for jotting things down.

    Clairfontaine for letters, and for times that call for the old Billy Baroo, some Crown Mill Kate's Paperie Cream Laid paper a friend gave me.

    Bon journée!
    Last edited by BlkWhiteFilmPix; July 12th, 2018 at 03:23 PM.
    Bob

    Paper cuts through the noise – Richard Moross, MOO CEO

    Paper turns out to be a superb information-storage technology, still readable after five hundred years, which our own tweets won't likely be - Walter Isaacson, in Leonardo Da Vinci

  24. #18
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4,093
    Thanks
    4,290
    Thanked 6,161 Times in 2,271 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    Flat. I don't like it when it is all crumpled up or folded.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

  25. The Following User Says Thank You to Jon Szanto For This Useful Post:

    NibsForScript (July 13th, 2018)

  26. #19
    Senior Member Morgaine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    755
    Thanks
    408
    Thanked 287 Times in 180 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: What paper qualities do you look for?

    For letter writing, I do like jolly paper. Even Diddl handles some fountain pen ink quite well. I'm annoyed at the holes punched in some of the Paperchase pads, sometimes I have trimmed these off or put stickers over. I do also like the feel of Rhodia Color, which is lined (and apparently, a no-no for social correspondence https://archive.org/details/goodformletterwr00eato). Although for letter writing, the content can make up for the poor quality of paper, but I do in general dislike letters written on reporter's spiral notebook paper torn off the spiral.
    I am a Penpaller and Correspondent. I have a blog. I have a snail mail forum for discussion and postal challenges.... 2018: I took part in InCoWriMo-2018.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •