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Crown Mill of Belgium - Cream Laid


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#1 Phthalo

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:30



Last year, while browsing my local pen store for quality correspondence paper, I found a single boxed set of Original Crown Mill stationery. The set consisted of one 50-sheet A5 pad and 25 envelopes in Grey. I didn’t know anything about the paper, but the price was reasonable and I liked the colour.

Production of this fine paper began in the late 1800s, as an authentic reproduction of handmade writing sheets produced in Belgium in the 17th century. The remaking of this 'original' handmade paper resulted in the Crown Mill “Original Crown Mill” line of fine stationery. Crown Mill paper is available in a wide variety of sizes, colours and shapes, with card and envelope sets making up a large part of the range. Both Cream Laid and Pure Cotton correspondence paper is available. My comments refer only to the Cream Laid (or Classic) range, though I do hope to try the Pure Cotton range soon.

The standard OCM Cream Laid range is Vergé paper available in several colours – Blue, Cream, Grey, Pink and White being the most commonly available. Currently I have OCM Cream Laid sets in Grey and Cream, with the Grey being light enough to provide excellent contrast with bright inks such as Noodler’s Apache Sunset (orange) and Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk (scarlet). However, the Grey paper is a little difficult to see through, making it hard to use a ruled guideline sheet beneath.

The laid finish is subtly textured, but still smooth to write on. None of my pen and ink combinations feather on this paper. The Cream and White laid papers write a little more 'dry' compared to the Grey.

The standard envelope selection is available in the above-mentioned five colours, with each envelope lined with White silk tissue. In addition, I also found individual Cream envelopes with silk tissue lining in a choice of 22 colours, so I picked up ten each of Navy Blue, Bamboo, Chocolate, Kraft (a caramel colour) and Bordeaux to mix and match with my Cream A5 paper sheets.



I have a few sheets of G. Lalo Vergé de France A5 tablet paper, and it is very similar to OCM paper in appearance and finish. G. Lalo envelopes have a tapered and gently rounded ‘wallet’ flap, while OCM envelopes have a traditional pointed flap. The OCM Cream Laid is around 100gsm / 26lb, and G. Lalo paper is around 104gsm / 27lb weight.

Overall, this is very good, high-quality paper which all my fountain pens love. I pay AU$11.55 (~$9US) for each A5 pad and about the same amount for 25 envelopes. Sets of 100 sheets and 50 envelopes are also available. OCM Cream Laid has become my standard correspondence stationery.

(FYI: The texture of laid paper is created by the parallel and traverse wires which make up the screen, as illustrated below.)

Edited by Phthalo, 03 December 2007 - 07:06.

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#2 maryannemoll

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 06:13

this is an interesting review. thanks for sharing. smile.gif

#3 KG4KAH

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 12:13

Pthalo,

Thanks for the review, and for providing so much information about the paper. Do you have a sample with some of your writing, in FP of course to share? I am always on the lookout for good quality writing paper.

Thanks, and best regards,

Sending with regards (my 73s)

Wade
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#4 npcole

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 12:44

I also like that paper, but it does have a heavy texture that some of my drier pens do not like so much.



#5 Sidney

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 07:42

My local stockist is out of the half sheets and it takes her too long to restock. If anyone's favorite stationery store has some in stock please let me know via PM or email.
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#6 Ringtop

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 08:02

Pthalo,

Great review. If I can find this stuff somewhere near me, I may pick some up. It was nice to see a photo of the actual type of screen used in the process as well. I've always wondered just what that looked like.

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#7 gary

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 13:52

On line at Kate's Paperie

http://www.katespape...w1-E0000272.php

#8 Titivillus

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 15:10

QUOTE (gary @ Feb 25 2007, 08:52 AM)
On line at Kate's Paperie

http://www.katespape...w1-E0000272.php

wow,
I rememeber seeing a card set in a stationary store & I really liked the texture but it was for a multiple greater than the price at Katie's P.

So I'm ordering a few boxes to play around with. So snailers prepare for grey biggrin.gif



Kurt

#9 maryannemoll

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 16:24

Now I'm curious. Is it as heavy as Crane's 32 lb Resume Paper?

#10 Henry

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 08:14

Hmm it seems Kate's is out of stock of a lot of them. Any source of these in Canada? Or anyone willing to help me check out a few of these sets?

#11 lefty928

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 17:45

Yesterday I bought a box (bordered set, 25 env. and A5 sheets) at a clearance sale (70% off! How could I resist?) and I like it a lot. To me, it doesn't quite feel the equivalent of 32 lb. resume paper, Maryanne. Perhaps 28 lbs., though. Maybe. (Of course, I'm being wildly inexact -- oops, have to stop myself before I go on about the lb. stuff.)

It's nicely substantial, not nearly as light as Clairfontaine Triomphe (my favorite, as I prefer smooth over laid), but not as heavy as the bordered sheets of Crane's kid finish I also picked up ( blush.gif, I have a couple boxes of non-bordered at home. But 70% off. What can I say?). The Crane bordered version feels pretty much like a 32-lb. equivalent; it has heft. I also bought a pack of Crane's regular sheets -- my pens seem to like its texture the least.

Edited by lefty928, 01 March 2007 - 17:50.

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#12 R.ticle One

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 00:50

Thanks for the post - I've seen this a few times at a shop in Toronto, but never gave it a go.

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#13 Pengrump

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 16:28

One of my favorite stationeries. I used to be able to find it at any and every Paper Source store, but they don't seem to stock it so regularly anymore.

#14 bartl

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 13:06

Hi
I have paper and envelopes of crown mill, no shortage here in Belgium of this paper biggrin.gif . The book retailchain CLUB and I suspect many others have plenty of it in stock


#15 PaulK

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 23:43

Thanks to all for this post. I ordered some paper today in blue and cream (Kurt, you apparently ordered the last of the gray). Amazingly hard to find "masculine" stationary and I certainly wasn't ready to give up the serious $ for Crane paper.

Paul

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#16 Titivillus

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 01:08

QUOTE (PaulK @ Mar 6 2007, 06:43 PM)
Thanks to all for this post. I ordered some paper today in blue and cream (Kurt, you apparently ordered the last of the gray). Amazingly hard to find "masculine" stationary and I certainly wasn't ready to give up the serious $ for Crane paper.

Paul

Paul,
actually I received cream yesterday. Used it and the paper is very nice. Noticed that it says Kate's paperie on the box as well a little impression on the envelope flap so I assume that they had a deal together biggrin.gif

The box is neat in that the front folds down so you can access the paper on top as well as the two piles of envelopes below.


Kurt

#17 PaulK

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 03:15

QUOTE (Tytyvyllus @ Mar 6 2007, 07:08 PM)
QUOTE (PaulK @ Mar 6 2007, 06:43 PM)
Thanks to all for this post.  I ordered some paper today in blue and cream (Kurt, you apparently ordered the last of the gray).  Amazingly hard to find "masculine" stationary and I certainly wasn't ready to give up the serious $ for Crane paper.

Paul

Paul,
actually I received cream yesterday. Used it and the paper is very nice. Noticed that it says Kate's paperie on the box as well a little impression on the envelope flap so I assume that they had a deal together biggrin.gif

The box is neat in that the front folds down so you can access the paper on top as well as the two piles of envelopes below.


Kurt

Thanks again! Kurt, I'm really looking forward to receiving the paper. As I mentioned, I am frustrated by the amount of "frilly" stationary that's out there. I want something that is straight-forward in cream, blue, or white -- no flowers, hearts, birds, etc. on the envelopes and paper.
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

~ Oscar Wilde, 1888

Posted ImagePosted Image

#18 Titivillus

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 03:22

QUOTE (PaulK @ Mar 6 2007, 10:15 PM)
QUOTE (Tytyvyllus @ Mar 6 2007, 07:08 PM)
QUOTE (PaulK @ Mar 6 2007, 06:43 PM)
Thanks to all for this post.  I ordered some paper today in blue and cream (Kurt, you apparently ordered the last of the gray).  Amazingly hard to find "masculine" stationary and I certainly wasn't ready to give up the serious $ for Crane paper.

Paul

Paul,
actually I received cream yesterday. Used it and the paper is very nice. Noticed that it says Kate's paperie on the box as well a little impression on the envelope flap so I assume that they had a deal together biggrin.gif

The box is neat in that the front folds down so you can access the paper on top as well as the two piles of envelopes below.


Kurt

Thanks again! Kurt, I'm really looking forward to receiving the paper. As I mentioned, I am frustrated by the amount of "frilly" stationary that's out there. I want something that is straight-forward in cream, blue, or white -- no flowers, hearts, birds, etc. on the envelopes and paper.

Well this is no frill paper with a huge watermark and a nice texture. I also like the price wink.gif

#19 Margana

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 09:10

Thank you so much for the review. I'd never heard of Crown Mill before but now I own four boxes. It's a little smoother than Crane's Kid Finish and that suits me just fine. Now it's time to write some snail mail. Anyone interested?
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#20 Phthalo

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 11:05

I've just ordered some of the Crown Mill "Pure Cotton" A5 pads. Has anyone tried that yet?

OCM seems very easy to get in the US, so I'm glad the review was useful! smile.gif
Laura / Phthalo
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