For some time my standard correspondence paper has been Cream Laid Vergé paper from Original Crown Mill™. After reading about the OCM “Pure Cotton” line, I was eager to try some of their 100% cotton stationery. My local fine paper retailer had a luxury box of 100 A5 sheets and 50 lined envelopes in stock, or they could order me the 50-sheet A5 pads. I decided to splurge on the luxury box set.
As soon as my nib touched the surface of this paper, it was love - heavy and smooth with high opacity and excellent ink hold-out (meaning the surface resists much ink absorption). This was the paper that could make a sloppy-wet M nib write like a Needlepoint.
Some time later, I bought two of the Pure Cotton 50-sheet pads - and got a nasty shock. Even though these papers are marketed in identical packaging, they are quite different!
|Sheet Paper||Pad Paper|
|Color:||Creamy White||Off White|
|Weight:||~110 g/m² (29lb)||100 g/m² (27lb)|
|Watermark:||None.||PURE COTTON down right-hand side.|
|Surface Behavior:||Pens write dry, surface resists ink, long drying times.||Pens write normally, ink dries normally.|
For me, the differences were most definitely a nasty discovery. (My M nibs were back to writing like M nibs!)
I have no idea why the paper changed, but it definitely did. For most people, the change in Pure Cotton paper was probably great – because the coated / sized surface of the sheet paper will cause many pens to writer too-fine lines and feel very dry. The pad paper is far more user-friendly and appealing.
So, putting my personal disappointment aside, what follows is a discussion of both papers – I highly recommend either, as they are excellent for FP use.
(Because the papers behave so differently though, I may get a bit wordy as I try to explain said differences.)
Nib & Ink Behavior
- Nib Behavior: Extra Fine nibs and dry Fine nibs may drag on this cotton rag paper.
- Ink Behavior: On the sheet paper, inks show quite beautiful variation and shading. Variation on the pad paper is noticeable, but less impressive. No feathering - EVER!
Some brief notes about the differences and similarities between the Pure Cotton A5 Pad Paper, and Crane & Co. Ecruwhite 6 3/8 x 8 1/2 Sheets:
- Some ink and pen combinations show very slight feathering on the Ecruwhite, but not on Pure Cotton.
- Ecruwhite is heavier paper at 120 g/m² (32lb).
- Both papers have a slightly textured "eggshell" surface finish which upsets some nibs. Overall, I feel the Pure Cotton provides a smoother writing experience.
- Ecruwhite is a little too yellow for my liking. Inks display their colors better on the Pure Cotton.
- Ecruwhite envelopes are unlined.
Pure Cotton envelopes are lined with white silk tissue and have a traditional pointed flap. They are available in packs of 25, C6 size and retail for ~$10US. Pure Cotton A5 50-sheet Pads retail for ~$10US. The “Pure Cotton Luxury Box Set” consists of 100 A5 sheets, 50 C6 envelopes and retails for ~$50US. In comparison, you can buy three Crane Ecruwhite sets of 40 sheets and 20 envelopes for ~$45 retail. That would give you 120 sheets and 60 envelopes - making the OCM a little pricier in the fancy “Box Set” configuration.
AU folk can purchase this paper online from The Source or Monograms. The A5 Pads are ~$14AU.
Overall, I really like the Pure Cotton range from Original Crown Mill. It is a little expensive, and the surface will not be for everyone, but this is generally the case with 100% cotton papers anyway.
I am not spoilt for choice when it comes to paper (I can’t purchase papers like Rhodia or Clairefontaine locally), so I was really happy to find *any* 100% cotton paper in Australia. So for me, Original Crown Mill has met my personal stationery needs very nicely.
Edited by Phthalo, 21 July 2008 - 11:38.