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Ditching Clairefontaine...


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#1 777

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:58

I've finally come to a point where I just can't use Clairefontaine paper anymore... I used to love it but that love faded quickly. IT seems to have some really bad qualities that others don't notice. I wonder if it's just me. Posted Image

That CF smooth paper is great for feel but it resists my ink, takes forever to dry, and makes my excellent pens skip. Has anybody else had this experience?

I'm beginning to prefer paper with texture - almost rough even. I just tried one of CTF's Hit-List notebooks and instantly fell in love with the paper. It's thick and heavy, gently textured, not too bright white. In short - perfect!

Anybody have the same feelings about Clairefontaine paper as me? Seems like everybody has such high marks for it as I did when I first used it. Now I'm not so sure...

Regards,
777

P.S. - Lets not let this topic get out of hand please... I don't want to argue and have it closed by mods. I just want some honest opinions and shared experiences. Posted Image

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#2 jniforat

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 13:11

Tyler, I agree completely. IMHO, Clairefontaine and Rhodia have been relegated to Moleskin-esque paper. Sure, neither of the former paper's mentioned bleed-through, but as someone that is left-handed, the paper is less than optimal. I don't want to have to only use really fast drying ink for such expensive paper. Besides, I buy Alvina Saray Paper (even if it is made in Turkey :glare: ), which is EXACTLY like Rhodia paper, but MUCH less expensive if one buys four or five pads at a time (it's just the shipping costs that are annoying, but my bookstore sells them so i don't have to worry about shipping. even at the university's bookstore markup, the Alvin paper is still cheaper and the exact same quality).

Of course, I'll probably buy a Dot Webbie just to have it, but I'm content with my Alvin Paper (if i want to use Rhodia-like paper), HP 24 / 32lb, and now CTF's HitList. CTF has created the perfect notebook, and I can't wait to see how this line develops.

#3 RedSox04

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 13:14

I know what you mean.

Sometimes the pages feel greasy and ridiculously smooth.

So, great for my toothier pens with finer nibs, but the paper is a detriment to larger nibs.
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#4 IWantThat

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 13:37

I agree that Clairefontaine isn't always ideal. I've found that it's better with some pens than with others. Still, I use Moleskine and I'll continue to use Clairefontaine. I prefer sketch paper, more than any other :)
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#5 atypical

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 13:38

(deleted)

Edited by atypical, 02 June 2011 - 10:40.


#6 Sandy1

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 14:05

Hi,

I am not going to ditch the Clairefontaine Triomphe.

But I am not using nearly as much of that paper as I thought I would, which is simply a matter of preference, rather than performance.

I agree that is does not suit every situation - no paper does. And it is not a 'default' paper by any stretch of the imagination - it is an 'on purpose' chosen paper.

  • Too slick for some pen+ink combos - loss of precise control.
  • Impossible with some flex nibs (railroading), and those with even an itty-bitty bit of baby bottom (skipping).
  • Some inks take beyond forever to dry.
  • Is a personal favourite when using narrow nibs.
  • Can maximise shading and crispness of line. (Astounding with the i-g inks.)

OBTW, if one is looking for a top-tier paper that is heavy with a wee bit of tooth, the G Lalo 'Velin de France' may be of interest. LINK

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 01 June 2011 - 14:06.

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#7 777

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 15:31

Well, at least I now know that I'm not the only one of this opinion... I agree with most-all of the comments made. CF paper certainly has its good points. They just weren't outweighing the bad for me...

Regards,
777

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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#8 Mickey

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 15:43

Hi,

I am not going to ditch the Clairefontaine Triomphe.

But I am not using nearly as much of that paper as I thought I would, which is simply a matter of preference, rather than performance.

I agree that is does not suit every situation - no paper does. And it is not a 'default' paper by any stretch of the imagination - it is an 'on purpose' chosen paper.

  • Too slick for some pen+ink combos - loss of precise control.
  • Impossible with some flex nibs (railroading), and those with even an itty-bitty bit of baby bottom (skipping).
  • Some inks take beyond forever to dry.
  • Is a personal favourite when using narrow nibs.
  • Can maximise shading and crispness of line. (Astounding with the i-g inks.)

OBTW, if one is looking for a top-tier paper that is heavy with a wee bit of tooth, the G Lalo 'Velin de France' may be of interest. LINK

Bye,
S1


+1 I'd add Lalo Verge de France and the Strathmore 25% Cotton Writing Wove to the list of alternatives (n.b., the Ivory and Natural White have a little more tooth than the Bright White and Ultimate White).

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#9 The Good Captain

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 17:21

I haven't tried this paper in any form, yet. Any suggestions for a good, reasonably priced supplier in the UK?

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#10 AtomicLeo

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 17:44

You describe my experiences with Clairefontaine, especially the skipping! Drove me crazy, so I gave up and I'm now back using Moleskine. /the bleed through isn't that bad and I can pick up a large on Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping) for $9-12. Way cheaper than CF.
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#11 777

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 18:06

You describe my experiences with Clairefontaine, especially the skipping! Drove me crazy, so I gave up and I'm now back using Moleskine. /the bleed through isn't that bad and I can pick up a large on Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping) for $9-12. Way cheaper than CF.


Yea, I used to use these awesome moleskine knock-offs from wal-mart. I believe they were mead but markings also makes some that are identical. They are about $9.00 and of course no shipping at the store.

Regards,
777

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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#12 dgturner

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 19:52

Being a left-handed over writer, I agree with many of the points, but i am not giving up my Rhodia Circa Annotation paper. I write with a sheet of blotting paper under my hand to prevent bleeding. I have found that I have a similar experience with the HP 32# Presentation bond as well. The crispness of the written lines, coupled with the subdued nature of the printed lines keeps me coming back for more. For practicing my penmanship, nothing beats Seyes ruled paper.

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#13 KrazyIvan

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 20:59

I have never had the skipping issue. :unsure:

I find it odd no one has mentioned blotter paper???? That is exactly what it's for. I also think the skipping issue may be because you are resting your hand on the paper. The blotter paper also cures this. I bought full sheets of blotter paper and cut them down to size for my notebooks. I use them as bookmarks also. Basically, just use the paper to soak up the extra ink. Rest your hand on the blotter paper instead of the page, as you write and you solve the skipping issue too.

granted, this does not solve the lefties issues. :(

Edited by KrazyIvan, 01 June 2011 - 21:00.


#14 ImolaS3

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 21:03

All depends on which CF you are using

I find Triomphe a little too 'slick', but the vellum in 90gsm webnotebooks it just perfect!
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#15 blemt

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 21:57

I've had some similar experiences with CF. I've shifted towards a cheap comp book with paper made in Brazil. Good feel, minimal bleed through, and it grabs the pen just enough that I get feedback. I'm not saying CF needs to hit the rubbish bin, but I figure that this is part of the fun. I'm still in the learning what I like stage. Right now slow drying paper/ink combos does not rank high on my favorite list. That's a bigger issue for me than bleed through for now.

#16 The Good Captain

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:11

Well my experience of Moleskine and 4001 ink has been really good, so I think I'll stick with them. Fantastic price on Amazon UK too.

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#17 SlipyNaricis2112

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:19

To laundry list some of the vices people are apparently having with CF, here is my take.

Skipping: None, never. As someone who writes exclusively with flex nibs, and dip pens, I cannot, in good conscience, say that has ever happened.

Smoothness and lack of control: I suppose with certain people, it would be a problem, with myself, it's mandatory. I want absolutely NO feedback from the nib or paper. My arm does the rest.

Long dry times: Blotting paper, people. It really works.

I have a great affinity for everything about CF, the EXTREME smoothness of the paper, the painfully bright whiteness of it, alas, I don't love the price of it. Nevertheless, it's the perfect paper in my opinion.

#18 777

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:27

I hear many suggest blotting paper. The thing is for me at least - It's just another thing to carry around and have to buy. Why buy blotting paper when you could just have a notebook that dries quickly.

I did a test between CTF's Hit List and a CF duo notebook. The ink was the notorious PR Sherwood Green. Check out my dry times:

HitList - 5 seconds! Posted Image

Clairefontaine - 30 seconds... Posted Image

I really prefer the fast drying paper for when I need to jot down a quick note and then throw my notebook in a bag or on the desk.

YMMV

Regards,
777

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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#19 jniforat

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:28

but i just want to write with my pen and the notebook in front of me without having to use blotting paper too...just my opinion, though :)

#20 jniforat

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:31

I hear many suggest blotting paper. The thing is for me at least - It's just another thing to carry around and have to buy. Why buy blotting paper when you could just have a notebook that dries quickly.

I did a test between CTF's Hit List and a CF duo notebook. The ink was the notorious PR Sherwood Green. Check out my dry times:

HitList - 5 seconds! Posted Image

Clairefontaine - 30 seconds... Posted Image

I really prefer the fast drying paper for when I need to jot down a quick note and then throw my notebook in a bag or on the desk.

YMMV

Regards,
777


my thoughts, too. i bring my Pilot VP, a 5mL vial of ink just in case I run out (for any of my pens since i always seem to forget), and then i have my notebooks. now i need to carry blotting paper too? to each his or her own. i think the concept of blotting paper is a great; however, i just don't want to carry another accessory.

#21 jniforat

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:32

of course, i'm going to probably get a dot webbie, so i'm not totally complaining :D. I think if the HitList's came in grid and dots, along with double the pages, it would be the perfect notebook. as it stands, i still think HitList is my favorite :) :puddle: :puddle: :puddle:

#22 KrazyIvan

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:33

a single sheet stuffed between a notebook page is too much to carry? Really? :embarrassed_smile:

#23 andru

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:01

I've definitely experienced the skipping (90g smooooth) with a number of pens, including semi-flex Namiki Falcon (Waterman FB). If I'm very careful I can write without skipping with most pens, but ... I can't always be so careful. For a person who can't tolerate dry-starts/skipping I could not recommend Clairefontaine.

I've noticed that if I rub the paper first with my palm it helps considerably.

As to the long dry time and smearing, I'd be interested in trying blotting paper, but doesn't this detract from shading when using italic or flex pens? Or leave paler colours? The intense whiteness of the paper could help make up for it.

#24 stevlight

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:04

Clairefontaine is too smooth for me also--also takes too long to dry.

I love Strathmore 400 drawing paper.
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#25 fourseamer

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:24

If anyone wants to donate their Clairefontaine or Rhodia paper, I'll gladly accept. :puddle:

#26 Sandy1

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:46

...

Skipping: None, never. As someone who writes exclusively with flex nibs, and dip pens, I cannot, in good conscience, say that has ever happened.

Smoothness and lack of control: I suppose with certain people, it would be a problem, with myself, it's mandatory. I want absolutely NO feedback from the nib or paper. My arm does the rest.

...

Hi,

Please pardon my edit, and added emphasis.

I think that your points are significant as to the suitability of Clairefontaine Triomphe for certain applications.

I do not often write with flex nibs / dip pens, mostly because they require a different manner (mechanics) of penmanship. I write quickly, and find it very frustrating if I slow to 'draw'. That's all on me. (I do practice a bit - though it doesn't show.) I can see that if a person writes more slowly, then the skipping may diminish.

I also prefer feedback from the nib - Is the little devil running on the sweet spot?

And if one goes for blotting paper, why not the pounce pot too?


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Bye,
S1


Edited by Sandy1, 02 June 2011 - 00:23.

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#27 Ghost Plane

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 00:38

I'm another willing to give a good home to any CF paper you want to get rid of. Drying time isn't a big issue for me and I love the way high saturation inks behave with my OB, BB, and stub nibs. :thumbup:

#28 Enai

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 00:49

Skipping on paper as smooth as Clairefontaine is probably due to a baby's bottom on the nib's tip more than anything else (it's really not the paper's fault). So CF paper is useful if you want to test a nib for baby's bottom.

I find CF/Rhodia paper to be "chalky".
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#29 beak

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 01:53

When I took up the FP again last year, I was faced with a broad Pelikan nib and Clairfontaine paper (A4 pad) and I was out of control from the start.

The experience was like trying to drive a tiger tank at speed round an ice rink. Some of the smaller stapled notebooks were better in this regard, but I don't use CF any longer. One thing that I will say for the experience is that the effort required to control the pen on that surface paid off - if you can master that you can deal with anything.
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#30 Thornton

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:53

I do enjoy my Rhodia notepads, but I do not like how the paper interacts with some of my drier inks. For example, after half a page of writing, any pen I have filled with Montblanc Midnight Blue starts to skip. This doesn't happen with this ink or other dry inks on Moleskine or Markings paper. It's not the end of the world, but it is irksome.
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