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Paper Review - G Lalo Velin De France


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#1 Sandy1

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 04:25

Hello Everyone,

In response to a request, Post #7, I offer my results of a brief sampling G Lalo 'Velin de France' paper, marketed by the megalithic Exaclair.

So what is it about?

Royal courts of Europe, perhaps.

Perhaps not ...


CHARACTERISTICS & USE

  • Velin is a top-tier FP-friendly paper.
  • Available in A4 & A5 formats; sold in pads/tablets held together with temporary binding compound at the narrow top edge. Other than matching envelopes, I am unaware of other format/s & presentations. It would be grand in a sketch+writing field book, but no.
  • The paper is described as 'white', but has a base tint which begs to differ. (Stay tuned.)
  • Unlined, plain edge sheets with square corners.
  • There is no watermark, which to some is a green light for two-sided use.
  • The paper is hefty - 100 grams per square meter, (gsm).
  • The paper is almost too heavy to be crisp.
  • There is sufficient rigidity / substance to caution about possible paper cuts. (Oh great - paper with a hazard warning.)
  • The robust physical characteristics enable mechanised processing, likely to include duplex letterpress & sheet-fed press and related bindery work.
  • The paper is sufficiently opaque that those who rely upon seeing a template / guide lines placed under the active sheet may encounter difficulty.
  • The paper is of sufficient thickness that an under-sheet or padding may not seem mandatory, but I have come to prefer a few sheets of utility paper under the active sheet.
  • For personal correspondence, I prefer A4; finished with a single fold over a steel straightedge: A4 to A5; then hone the crease freehand using a folding bone. The rare times that I have used Velin for personal pro forma business correspondence, it was not folded. I very much prefer to avoid folding any A5 sheet - not only Velin.
  • Within its vocabulary is a sound reminiscent of a baking sheet being shaken / flexed.
  • Velin is less smooth than Rhodia or Clairefontaine Triomphe.
  • The texture / hand of the paper is very much suited to FP use: it has the slightest bit of tooth that allows precision penmanship when running a high-lubricant ink, (e.g. Visconti Blue), and/or from a slick nib - especially nibs with an itty-bitty bit of a baby bottom.
  • I do not think the texture would impede the tine spread-close motion of flex nibs.
  • The slight bit of tooth does not promote lines with absolutely crisp edges. Even though I have very high visual acuity, when observed with the naked eye at normal reading distance, that is not bothersome nor do lines appear 'sketchy'; the slight texture of the paper is readily apparent.
  • That bit of tooth can be exploited by those who use mixed (dry) media, such as graphite & colour pencils.
  • While marketed as a premium writing paper, Velin can tolerate some wetter media, such as whopping great calligraphy nibs, and dry brush water colour work. It seems there is some sizing on the paper or perhaps highly calendered, so if I were to use a dry brush then the lightest whisper of a damp sponge would seem OK to make the paper more receptive to the media. (No apparent need for pre-treatment with pounce.)
  • Smear/Dry times are typically less than Rhodia; closer to an FP-friendly laser copy paper, such as my penny-a-page utility paper of choice - HPJ1124.

~|~|~


Please take a moment to adjust your gear to accurately depict this Gray Scale.
As the patches are neutral gray, that is what should be seen.

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For convenient viewing of the images, you may wish to scroll to the menu at the very bottom of this window, then change the FPN Theme from 'IP.Board' to 'IP.Board Mobile'.

Please Note : The scanner operates on 'fixed default' settings which render a neutral white as white through-out. Dependent upon the scanner's sensitivity etc., the base tint of the papers should be evident, as well as any colour shift of text due to the papers' base tint showing through the translucent FP ink. The changes are minor, but to me are of sufficient merit to devote some time, effort & materiel to add Written Samples to this Post.

WRITTEN SAMPLES & COMMENTS

Serendipity revealed itself in this instance: I received a request for a closer look at this paper whilst preparing Written Samples for a Review of Diamine Damson; and had not yet cleansed all pens used for Written Samples included in the Reviews of Sailor Jentle Epinard & Sky High - wanting to write them dry. The only additional bits were to ink-up a Phileas+F with Tanzanite, and the Prera with Visconti (Red) Bordeaux. Consequently, we have a surfeit of written samples with different inks that take us right round the colour wheel, loitering in the warmer climes, and nibs of quite different characteristics to hand. Whee! So let's get stuck in ...

From Moby Dick

Diamine Damson from an Estie + XF 2550 posting steel nib.
Figure 1.

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  • From Left to Right: HPJ1124, Velin de France and Rhodia.

Figure 2.

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  • Ink is slightly wet; pen is of normal wetness.
  • This nib has a 'folded' steel tip from which the nib is fashioned - not a daub of hard tipping material.
  • The base-tint of the Velin shows through the translucent ink, which is faded to a dusty rose. Not altogether an unattractive appearance, but unlikely to be what one had in mind when purchasing that well poised ink.

Private Reserve Tanzanite from a Waterman Phileas + F steel nib.
Figure 3.

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  • From Left to Right: HPJ1124, Rhodia, Velin de France, Verge de France and Royal 25% rag.
Figure 4.

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  • Ink is decidedly wet; pen is of normal wetness.
  • Again, the ink is toned-down by the Velin. While Tanzanite is not a 'screaming hot' purple, some may wish to take the edge off ever so slightly, especially if using a wide nib on an A4 sheet; Velin does that nicely.
  • The line quality from this nib seemed better than from the Estie XF nib. In addition, Velin is the only paper of the lot to enable significant shading from the Phileas. :thumbup:

Sailor Jentle Epinard from a Cross ATX + M steel nib.
Figure 5.

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  • From Left to Right: HPJ1124, Rhodia, Velin de France, Verge de France and Royal 25% rag.
Figure 6.

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  • Ink is of about normal wetness, pen is rather wet.
  • Yet again, the ink is altered by the Velin. In this instance, the ink has been very much reduced in vibrancy - which is to me a key aspect of this ink. Epinard on Velin would be a non-starter in my world.
  • Yet, some of those who endure sleepless nights yearning for a return of MB Racing Green may like the subdued effect. (But you didn't hear that from me, OK? Don't tell anyone!)
  • The line quality is perfectly fine; and some soft shading is apparent.

Sailor Jentle Sky High from a Sailor 1911 + MS three-tine 14K nib.
Figure 7.

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  • From Left to Right: HPJ1124, Rhodia, Velin de France, Verge de France and Royal 25% rag.
Figure 8.

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  • Ink is of greater than normal wetness, pen is slightly wet.
  • Seemingly without end, the ink is toned-down by the Velin. The bright-eyed playful aspect of Sky High is lost, leaving a nice enough Blue with shading. But there's no longer a Genie in the ink bottle - Poof!
  • That said, the appearance remains impeccable: high line quality, no plump lines or feathering, no bleed- show-though, etc.

Visconti (Red) Bordeaux from a Pilot Prera + M nib.
Figure 9.

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  • From Left to Right: HPJ1124 and Velin de France.
Figure 10.

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  • Ink is just on the dry side of normal; pen is of normal wetness.
  • I constantly have problems with the (near) Red inks: on a white sheet they are simply too bright for my taste; on a Buff, Creme or Natural tint they go wonky.
  • For me, this is when the Velin comes into play.
  • The base-tint of the Velin reduces the 'sizzle' just that little bit, and gives a firming effect so the ink appears more stable and well-seated upon the sheet.


I recently found that Pelikan 4001 Brown and I are not on speaking terms - its far too yellow for my taste - I consider it a Tandoori Burnt Orange or some such. (sticks & stones ...) But I do think there's a chance for dialogue, using the Velin as an interpreter if you will.

Could G Lalo Velin de France be considered a cousin of Whitelines? But without the lines??

The plethora of choices to match ink, paper and pen seems practically endless.
Vortex or what?

Best Regards,
Sandy1

-30-
Tags : FPN Review Paper Lalo Velin de France Sandy1


Edited by Sandy1, 10 May 2011 - 19:50.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#2 Turlough

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 02:47

Sandy,
Thanks for the review,well done. While I haven't used this paper yet, your review makes me want to. I like a little tooth so I suppose it's in my future. I see there are no responses yet & I felt it a shame. Such a good review and no recognition? Anyway, thanks for all the work you put into it.
Regards, Turlough
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#3 Sandy1

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 21:53

Sandy,
Thanks for the review,well done. While I haven't used this paper yet, your review makes me want to. I like a little tooth so I suppose it's in my future. I see there are no responses yet & I felt it a shame. Such a good review and no recognition? Anyway, thanks for all the work you put into it.
Regards, Turlough


Hi,

You're welcome.

I think this paper provides a top-tier alternative to the (overly) smooth/slick papers such as Rhodia & Clairefontaine Triomphe. Even with the bit of tooth, it has demonstrated its ability to promote shading in an ink - no mean feat.

I think the samples clearly show just how much influence choice of paper can alter a given pen+ink combo. For an ink such as Damson, it is so 'poised' that its Look is considerably changed by the paper - gradients that a person might well switch inks to achieve, (Scabiosa?), rather than switch papers.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#4 PaperDarts

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 23:34


Sandy,
Thanks for the review,well done. While I haven't used this paper yet, your review makes me want to. I like a little tooth so I suppose it's in my future. I see there are no responses yet & I felt it a shame. Such a good review and no recognition? Anyway, thanks for all the work you put into it.
Regards, Turlough


Hi,

You're welcome.

I think this paper provides a top-tier alternative to the (overly) smooth/slick papers such as Rhodia & Clairefontaine Triomphe. Even with the bit of tooth, it has demonstrated its ability to promote shading in an ink - no mean feat.

I think the samples clearly show just how much influence choice of paper can alter a given pen+ink combo. For an ink such as Damson, it is so 'poised' that its Look is considerably changed by the paper - gradients that a person might well switch inks to achieve, (Scabiosa?), rather than switch papers.

Bye,
S1



Sandy1, I am indeed remiss in not thanking you publicly for this stellar review, especially when it was my original request about the Velin paper that prompted you to do it, at least in part. I really appreciated the comparison of different inks on different papers side by side - this review, and a sample of the paper sent to me, have convinced me to look for Velin de France. I was looking for something in between Clairfontaine and Verge de France, although I enjoy both of those papers. Thank you for including Diamine Damson as one of the inks - it's my current non-black favourite. It makes me feel "poised" when I use it!
I've discovered that Laywine's in Toronto ordinarily does carry the writing pads and envelopes, though they say it is not as popular as the Verge de France. They're in the middle of their annual month-long pre-inventory sale right now, so only envelopes were in stock, but I will report back on whether they are able to carry it regularly in future. By the way - my only association with Laywine's is as a frequent fond customer. You know the old Cheers TV sitcom, the bar "where everybody knows your name?" Well - in my case it's a pen store!

As I said in my PM, I will certainly look forward to more of your reviews. They're wonderful.
"Life would split asunder without letters." Virginia Woolf

#5 Sandy1

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 21:02

[quote name='PaperDarts' timestamp='1305329672' post='1981792']
Sandy1, I am indeed remiss in not thanking you publicly for this stellar review, especially when it was my original request about the Velin paper that prompted you to do it, at least in part. I really appreciated the comparison of different inks on different papers side by side - this review, and a sample of the paper sent to me, have convinced me to look for Velin de France. I was looking for something in between Clairfontaine and Verge de France, although I enjoy both of those papers. Thank you for including Diamine Damson as one of the inks - it's my current non-black favourite. It makes me feel "poised" when I use it!
I've discovered that Laywine's in Toronto ordinarily does carry the writing pads and envelopes, though they say it is not as popular as the Verge de France.

snip

As I said in my PM, I will certainly look forward to more of your reviews. They're wonderful.
[/quote]
Hi,

You're very welcome!

While my primary area of interest is FP ink, IMHO one cannot fully address the ink without also bringing various pens & papers to the party! So inadvertently, each of my Ink Reviews could be viewed as a Paper Review or a Pen Review; and the 'cell' arrangement of the Written Samples enables such viewing when re-organised in multiple Browser windows.

I very much agree that the Velin is a good fit between Triomphe and Verge de France - certainly in terms of surface, and offers a third base tint.

Bye!
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#6 Belles-lettres

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 18:38

Sandy1-

I always look forward to your detailed and objective reviews of inks. There are a plethora of inks, nibs and pens today but truly fine paper seems lacking. This sounds like a winner - thanks so much for taking the time to test drive it rigorously.
first fountain pen: student Sheaffer, 1956
next fountain pen: Montblanc 146 circa 1990
favourite ink: Noodler's Zhivago
favourite pen: Waterman No. 12
most beautiful pen: Conway Stewart 84 red with gold veins, oh goodness gracious


#7 Inked

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 14:23

Fantastik reveiw.

Questions answered that I hadn't even thought to ask.


Again, Fantastik!


Thank-you,

Inked

#8 Sandy1

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 18:15

Sandy1-

I always look forward to your detailed and objective reviews of inks. There are a plethora of inks, nibs and pens today but truly fine paper seems lacking. This sounds like a winner - thanks so much for taking the time to test drive it rigorously.

Hi,

You're welcome!

From my own experience, paper may be too ofter taken for granted. Very often in the workplace, one writes on whatever's available / provided. But I think that when one does have the choice, good paper should be considered in the same light as choosing pen and ink.

And we have the matter of moving paper: heavy stuff makes it expensive to ship (in quantity). Especially internationally! So many people have reasonable access to the locally available papers, which is unfortunate.

Cheers!
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#9 Sandy1

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 18:19

Fantastik reveiw.

Questions answered that I hadn't even thought to ask.


Again, Fantastik!


Thank-you,

Inked


Hi,

You're welcome!

I noticed that there seems to be an initiative afoot to reconsider the Review 'gudelines' for this Forum. So perhaps if this Review answers unthought-of questions, you may wish to propose they be included in any revised guidelines.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:42

wrong company. :embarrassed_smile:

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 16 February 2013 - 12:59.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#11 Nick T

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 02:23

Thank you so much for this review Sandy. I am just focusing in on this paper after having a good experience with some Fabriano that was picked up at the airport gift shop in Rome. A slightly scritchy surface sounds appealing to me. The Fabriano has a wee bit of tooth but I have not seen in it in the A4 size with matching envelope yet so I will give this G Lalo a whirl.

 

More reviews of paper and sources to buy them are needed IMO. Thank you for the stellar review!


Warmest Regards - Nicholas

#12 PaperDarts

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 15:16

I'm taking advantage of the "bump" to this thread to thank you once again for your review, Sandy.  Since you posted it I've got my stash of Velin de France from Laywine's in Toronto and I really enjoy using this paper.

 

Re-reading your review, I noticed your statement that you prefer A4 paper, as do I, but that you fold it only once - did I read that correctly?  That's a biggish envelope!  I typically fold my A4 letters in thirds, though I admit it makes a longer letter a challenge to stuff into the envelope. Is there a brand of envelopes you like that takes an unfolded A5 sheet?  Just curious. 


"Life would split asunder without letters." Virginia Woolf

#13 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 16:25

Wheee!!!!!!

As with ink, the same with paper. :notworthy1:

It is quite an education of what to look for in a paper and how to organize it.

 

I do not now have any of the 100G...I managed to get some 125g Velin, in creme.

I don't have a scanner so I had to do my 'noobie-review' of three heavier papers including Velin & Verge de France in 160g a bit different...and left out way too much.

 

The good thing about fountain pens; is there is always something new to learn...with no tests.


Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.