Source : Shepherds Falkiners
Colour : Off-white tending to cream
Finish : fairly stiff, hard and with a dimpled, parchment texture.
How many of you remember those dreadful pink sheets of school blotting paper in the 70s and early 80s? You know, that awful felt-like stuff that we used to call "Blotch"? How many of you (in boys schools at least) used to chew up little bits of it to make spit-balls out of? Just me? Oh... er...
Anyway, these days if you want to buy blotting paper the most prevalent brand in the UK seems to be the J Herbin range. You get ten sheets of 120mm x 190mm for about £4.60 with the J Herbin logo printed on one side. It is much better than the old School stuff of course.
When I placed my order with Shepherds Falkiners for that thin bible paper I also ordered one sheet of blotting paper from them. One HUGE sheet at 610mm x 860mm. It starts at £1.20 a sheet and goes down from there.
They describe it as follows...
This is a machine made cotton content blotting. It is buffered with calcium carbonate to give a pH value above 8.5. It is very soft with a high thickness to weight ratio which gives good absorption. If used carefully and dried in clean conditions, it is re-usable many times over. It has a full archival specification.
Doing the math, the J Herbin costs you £4.60 for 228 square centimetres. The Sheperds Falkiners costs you £1.20 for 524 square centimetres. That means the J Herbin is nearly NINE times the price. The only catch is you either have to visit Shepherds Falkiner in London yourself or order it with something else from them as the shipping is significant for large sheets.
It works wonderfully, of course but you would expect any premium blotting paper to. I cut my sheet to give me twelve A5 pieces and three Post Quarto 9" x 7" pieces and the only waste was the little bit you see above which I am using as a wrist rest when writing.