Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

  1. #1
    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,303
    Thanks
    2,173
    Thanked 1,065 Times in 503 Posts
    Rep Power
    3

    Default Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    When I first got into the fountain pen hobby about a year ago, an A5 sized, clothbound, Back to Basics 1951 notebook from Clairefontaine was my first accessory purchase.

    I've subsequently gone through two of these 96-sheet, college ruled notebooks while testing pens and inks and am working on a third such journal of experimentation. So, it is high time I post up a review.

    Clairefontaine, a French paper company, makes these notebooks with their fantastic Papier Velouté at a very reasonable cost versus other premium notebooks.

    The A5 size runs around $7-10 and the notebooks come in several pleasant colors including a dark grey, turquoise, royal blue, dark blue, orange, lime green, fuschia, and probably others I'm unaware of.

    Papier Velouté is a crisp white and smooth, offering a pleasant, gliding feeling even for nibs with considerable feedback, low flow, and inks lacking lubrication. Nibs always seem to feel best on this above other papers I have tried. In fact, I get a false sense of success testing nibs I have attempted to tune and smooth until I try them on lesser paper!

    Inks tend to dry more quickly, too, often an indicator of absorbency. Yet the paper also resists feathering for nearly all of the most feather-prone inks I have tested.

    The 90gsm weight is very resistant to show-through and bleed-through except for a few cases with an extremely dark ink and overly wet pen.

    Also noteworthy is that my dip pens, usually needlepoint Esterbrook 048 pens (I don't do calligraphy) work wonderfully in these notebooks with Speedball black.



    The binding and cardboard has held up to months-long use. The spine will tend to arch during that time and the cardboard isn't thick enough to totally prevent curling but they close well enough, for me at least, by the end of their use.

    Also, thanks to the cloth binding, the notebooks open wide and flat without breaking the spine which makes it easier to write on both sides of the page.

    In all these are outstanding notebooks at an acceptable price and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a soft bound, lined notebook.

  2. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to azkid For This Useful Post:

    Barbara (September 18th, 2019), Chrissy (January 17th, 2019), countrydirt (May 10th, 2019), ethernautrix (January 18th, 2019), fountainpagan (February 20th, 2019), jacksterp (February 19th, 2019), Lady Onogaro (January 19th, 2019), Pterodactylus (January 17th, 2019), VertOlive (February 18th, 2019)

  3. #2
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Berkshire UK
    Posts
    5,433
    Thanks
    2,499
    Thanked 4,555 Times in 1,756 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    Thank you for this review. I've often looked at these notebooks. Now I know how good they are.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Chrissy For This Useful Post:

    azkid (January 17th, 2019)

  5. #3
    Senior Member The Good Captain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Shropshire, Great Britain
    Posts
    366
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 243 Times in 98 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    I've been using Clairefontaine notebooks for years, in various sizes. Even cutting down the small ones (90 x 140) to fit Midori passport covers. Great paper and the spiral bound A5 sized ones are good for ink logs too.
    The Good Captain
    (Gaston F Limoges)
    "Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

  6. #4
    Senior Member Voiren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    264
    Thanks
    62
    Thanked 546 Times in 146 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    I have also made note to try one sometime! I mostly have Rhodia in different sizes/finishes because I like it and it is easy to add on to other orders...

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Central Coast, California
    Posts
    156
    Thanks
    240
    Thanked 211 Times in 95 Posts
    Rep Power
    3

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Voiren View Post
    I have also made note to try one sometime! I mostly have Rhodia in different sizes/finishes because I like it and it is easy to add on to other orders...
    Same here, but I HATE the Rhodia web notebook. It took me a little while to figure why the ink colors were so wonky. The paper is "Ivory" or cream colored, not pure white. Just enough color to throw off what the ink really looks like on pure white paper. Switched to Rhodia Ice pads in A4 size and problem was solved. Now I'll have to grab a Clairefontaine 1951 to test out.

    All the Best.

  8. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    946
    Thanks
    240
    Thanked 811 Times in 354 Posts
    Rep Power
    4

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    Another +1 on these Clairefontaine 1951 notebooks. I bought one just because it would open flat and was available with a green cover and binding (I like green). Been using it for a while now. It's always in my backpack to jot down non-work related thoughts while I'm at the office.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Scooby921 For This Useful Post:

    azkid (January 23rd, 2019)

  10. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    436
    Thanks
    219
    Thanked 379 Times in 168 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    I have a small pocket sized version of these, and it's a good, well made pad, which behaves well with my pens and inks. I'll certainly be buying these again.

  11. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Somerset, uk
    Posts
    12
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    I have used the A5 size of these excelent note books for keeping my pen record, inks used etc including all purchase information, which itself is interesting provided one doesn’t attempt to count total cost.The strong elastic band which keeps everything in order and stands the test of time and the excellent index pages also help keep everything easily accessable. Altogether an excellent product costing in the uk anout £14 but well worth the cost.

  12. #9
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Berkshire UK
    Posts
    5,433
    Thanks
    2,499
    Thanked 4,555 Times in 1,756 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by donpack View Post
    I have used the A5 size of these excelent note books for keeping my pen record, inks used etc including all purchase information, which itself is interesting provided one doesn’t attempt to count total cost.The strong elastic band which keeps everything in order and stands the test of time and the excellent index pages also help keep everything easily accessable. Altogether an excellent product costing in the uk anout £14 but well worth the cost.
    If you're paying £14 in the UK then you're either not buying exactly the same notebook, or you might be paying more than you need to pay. The Clairefontaine 1951 Back to Basics notebook that OP recommended costs £4.96 on Amazon.uk
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

  13. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Somerset, uk
    Posts
    12
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    I must indeed be talking about a different notebook. Mine is the Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 threadbound notebook and does cost £14 or a little more from amazon. My book has 186 numbered pages plus 8 index pages, It also has a flap on the back of the front and rear covers to hold loose pieces of paper. The covers are available in several colours. The ruled pages are very fountain pen friendly. Sorry for causing some confusion.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to donpack For This Useful Post:

    jacksterp (February 19th, 2019)

  15. #11
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Berkshire UK
    Posts
    5,433
    Thanks
    2,499
    Thanked 4,555 Times in 1,756 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by donpack View Post
    I must indeed be talking about a different notebook. Mine is the Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 threadbound notebook and does cost £14 or a little more from amazon. My book has 186 numbered pages plus 8 index pages, It also has a flap on the back of the front and rear covers to hold loose pieces of paper. The covers are available in several colours. The ruled pages are very fountain pen friendly. Sorry for causing some confusion.
    No apology required, but after reading this thread I had already put a Clairefontaine 1951 Back to Basics notebook in my cart on Amazon, so I knew the price.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

  16. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    31
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 15 Times in 8 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Clairefontaine 1951 Clothbound Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by junglejim View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Voiren View Post
    I have also made note to try one sometime! I mostly have Rhodia in different sizes/finishes because I like it and it is easy to add on to other orders...
    Same here, but I HATE the Rhodia web notebook. It took me a little while to figure why the ink colors were so wonky. The paper is "Ivory" or cream colored, not pure white. Just enough color to throw off what the ink really looks like on pure white paper. Switched to Rhodia Ice pads in A4 size and problem was solved. Now I'll have to grab a Clairefontaine 1951 to test out.

    All the Best.
    The problem with white paper is that it throws off what the ink really looks like on ivory paper.

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to Mungmul For This Useful Post:

    countrydirt (May 10th, 2019)

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
  •