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  1. Like everyone else, I’m looking for the perfect paper to start off the new year - not too big, not too small, not too thin, not too thick, and so on. I’m in a small town, so I’m searching online and getting thoroughly overwhelmed by too many search results and a lot of incomplete product descriptions. Figured I should ask people who know about such things. Seeking: 90-100gsm paper (white, cream, or tan) Hard cover with lay-flat or wire binding (or loose leaf) US Letter (8.5x11”) or Moleskine XL (7.5x10”) size or similar. A4 is too big, A5/B5 is too small. Graph/squared grid (not dots) 5mm or 5 squares per inch (4 squares per inch would be tolerable, but not 7mm) I write most often with Pilot Precise V5, followed by Lamy FP with EF nib. Clairefontaine paper is nice, but I tend to smear the ink before it dries. I have used Moleskines as daily work notebooks for years, but the 70gsm paper is just too flimsy. Ribbon page markers or elastic closures are nice, but not necessary. Any suggestions? Thanks for reading!
  2. I just got some rhodia blank a5 pads and clairefontaine dot age bag. I wasn't thrilled with their result. So I did a comparison between the paper that I am currently using and the Rhodia. Left is rhodia blank a5 80g orange pad cost (Rs 300 for 80 sheets) and right one is Classmate Project Paper 70g (A4 loose leaves, double punched, cost - rs. 45 for 50 sheets).Rhodia is made in France. Classmate is manufactured in India. The big swaps were made with a spoon that I found in kitchen using Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku. My conclusion - Smoothness - Rhodia is a bit more smoother to write with but not too much. Shading - I cant conclude, shin ryoku seems to have a shade tad bit more in classmate and less in rhodia, will need to test more ink to conclude. Sheen - I am a noob in this department but the swap with spoon took 4-5 times more to dry in Classmate. There is a layer formed in classmate too where the ink dried slow (top left), this is less pronounced in rhodia. Ghosting - very slightly but more on rhodia, very minor can write on back easily on both. Bleed - In normal writing none, but in ink swap the Rhodia showed considerable high amount of bleed, It even showed on the back of the paper it was on. I was very much impressed by the classmate overall. Rhodia vs Classmate (front) Rhodia vs Classmate Rhodia vs Classmate (back) Edit - added comparison with clairefontaine. Here is comparison of Classmate Project Paper 70g and Clairefontaine 90g Age Bag. Kindly ignore the upper swap done on clairefontaine, I kind of messed up there. Conclusion - the iroshizuku still shades more in classmate, but lamy blue is shading in clairefontaine which is not pronounced in classmate. On bleeding and ghosting the classmate is clear winner but only by slight margin. Smoothness in clairefontaine is more pronounced. Overall, I am quite happy with the clairefontaine compared to rhodia. But for the price the classmate is clear winner, the pages are not as smooth as but they are not bad by any means. Kindly note that the pages in project paper of classmate is different from the pages found on their notebook. I don't like their notebook when writing with fountain pen. Classmate vs Clairefontaine (front) Classmate vs Clairefontaine (back) Sorry for messed up editing, this is my first post.
  3. SquareRecord

    Music Staff Paper

    Hello all! I'm rather new to FPN and FP's in general. I primarily use them for note-taking (grad student) but even more importantly, music writing. Yes, as in music notation on staff paper. I'm currently using a Franklin-Christoph music nib in a Jinhao 750, Noodler's black ink, but am testing a bunch of archival-quality inks so that will change. Enough introduction... I've emailed 7 different FP sellers to find some specific music paper. I'm looking for music staff paper that's around US tabloid size or similar, something where I can write music for a large ensemble. For example, orchestra, concert band, etc. Currently, Carta and similar manufacturers have large size paper that has room for 18+ different parts on each page, and I enjoy the size as well as handwriting my music, but the paper is NOT FP friendly. Does anyone know of any FP friendly large music paper sources?
  4. I use grid paper composition books as my annual planners. I made a notebook cover from a file folder. Just lay the notebook in the file folder and fold the file folder like we did with book covers back in the 60's. Trim and tape the inner corners, and trim the sharp edges to be rounded. I've found comp book paper to be the cheapest, most readily available fountain-pen-friendly paper. I learned that here, BTW, and thank you! I've always disliked the marble covers of comp books but love the paper. Now I don't look like I'm carrying the cheap, grade-school notebook I'm actually carrying.
  5. I currently use 52gsm white TR paper. For me it is too thin and flimsy.... and shows through more than i would prefer. I love Clairefontaine Triomphe paper but it is too heavy for multi-page international letters. So what's in between? I prefer white that's able to show sheen and shading. Blank, dot grid or lined works. I look forward to your suggestions. PS... I am in the USA so stuff I can get here, please..
  6. Hey there, Happy Friday! I am looking for some recommendation for letter writing paper, I am looking specifically for some beautiful paper not necessarily 81/2 by 11. This is what I have previously used, I found it at a stationary store, could be similar but definitely good quality. This paper folds in half and creates a 6x4 size Appreciate your recommendations! Cheers, Alex
  7. First off, I wanted to give a big shout out for everybody that was able to attend the Dromgoole's Dallas Pen Show 2 weeks ago! We were extremely happy to put on an event like that, and you all helped make it a successful event. It was so great to get to see everybody! With that said we are doing a similar show in San Antonio November 6th-7th!. The show will be located at the Doubletree by Hilton San Antonio Northwest right off of Loop 1604 and I-10. 6809 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78249 There will be a special room rate of $82/night if signed up before the end of October, if you have any issues please reach out to us and we will be happy to assist. Copy & Paste this link in your browser to book your room! https://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/S/SATJRDT-DRM-20201105/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG The show hours will be as follows: Friday November 6th 10AM-7PM Saturday November 7th 9AM-4PM The show will not be quite like the normal show due to Covid. We are taking many precautions in relation to this. Due to Covid the number of tables are greatly reduced, and meet all CDC guidelines and social distancing procedures. Hand sanitizer will be placed all around the show in addition to face coverings being required. We will have face shields available at no charge at the door. There will also be restrictions in place as far as number of people allowed in the show, so a line could form. We want to make this show as fun as possible, but we are doing everything we can to make it a safe show for all vendors and attendees. Attached is a flyer we have created that has a list of current vendors that have committed to attend, we expect to have some more as time goes on. Kirk Speer (Penrealm) will be on site offering nib grinding/tuning services!
  8. BaronWulfraed

    Pbs Nova - A To Z

    {Hoping this is an acceptable area to post this} For those in range of a PBS station, I hope you caught the second part of Nova's "A to Z" two part series yesterday. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/series/a-to-z/ (If you missed it -- it might stream from that link). There were some interesting points... Like papyrus/reed-pen combination allowed for fairly rapid writing, so Rome had a high degree of scrolls available via libraries. But after the empire fell apart, lost ready access to papyrus. Parchment making was slow and costly (equivalent of four large pages per hide), AND required such a slow hand to write that scribes would be lucky to get two pages copied out per day! And the cost of having a scribe spend a year on a book was equivalent to buying a small home.
  9. I'm looking for a fountain-pen friendly yellow or yellow toned blank paper. This came about when I tried Fuyu-gaki on my regular paper (bit like a thicker, paler Tomoe River) and found it too red and pale for my taste. I want a paper that makes Fuyu-gaki look more like a persimmon. I really love the 'depth/richness' swatches have when I edit the hues to the yellow side. So if you have any yellow papers you think really bring out certain colors, (I myself am looking to enhance browns, deep greens, and reds) please share!
  10. First a disclaimer…I am fairly new to the forums…joining only in March. And perhaps this topic has already been written to death. But I’ve been writing cursive italic for 40 years. Everyone seems to rave about Tomoe paper for writing with fountain pens. But it’s not my favorite writing paper. I know this can vary from person to person, depending on many different things, the pen, the nib, the ink, whether you prefer some “tooth” or not. Today, I was writing a letter on Tomoe 68 gm paper. I often use an italic fountain pen for my writing….and I write in cursive italic. But I seem to find it difficult to write on Tomoe paper with my italic pens. I was wondering if others had as difficult a time writing on Tomoe as I do. The paper is super thin, which doesn’t particularly bother me. But I think it is the extreme smoothness (almost slipperiness) that gives me trouble. It is so slick that it is difficult to form proper italic letter shapes (I’m talking quickly written cursive…NOT formal italic) and I am not able to get the nice thick and thins that I get with a “toothier” paper. So I got out 6 different types of writing paper that I have on hand: 1. Strathmore Series 400 Calligraphy writing paper 75 gm 2. Rhodia High Grade Vellum Paper 90 gm 3. Tomoe 68 gm paper 4. Triomphe Clairefontaine Vellum paper 90 gm 5. Md Midori Loose leaf paper 70 gm 6. Strathmore Premium Writing Paper 25% cotton 90 g I took out several different pens with different nibs…from extra fine to medium regular nibs to italic extra fine to double broad. I wrote the same sentence on all the papers with all the various pens and nibs. I would say both Tomoe and Rhodia paper produced the most “saturated” colors with a higher sheen. Both are very smooth papers. It is difficult for me to control the uniformity of my handwriting as well on these papers. I just don’t have the control of my pens that I would like to have…especially my italic pens. They simply just don’t “feel” as nice to write on as some of the other papers. The ink lines are slightly thicker on both of these papers. The next smoothest paper was the Triomphe Clairefontaine. I felt I had more control over my pens on this paper. It is slightly “toothier” than the Tomoe and Rhodia. My pens grabbed the paper better, so I had more controll over my pens. The italic pens seemed to work much better on this paper also, providing nice thicks and thins. Next for me was the MD Midori paper. Very similar to Triomphone Clairefontaine, but just slightly toothier. Writing on this paper was perhaps the best for both regular fountain pens and my italic pens with italic cursive. The ink flowed very well, it was nice and saturated. Next was the Strathmore Premium Writing Paper 25% cotton. Actually, I really liked writing on this paper also, especially with my regular nibs. The “toothiness” made control of my regular nibs very easy. My italic nibs did not write as well on this paper, since it is rougher than the other papers. Formal italic would work fine but cursive italic handwriting is a little more difficult. My regular fountain pen nibs worked well on this paper. Nice saturated ink and dried quickly. The last paper, Strathmore Series 400 Calligraphy Writing Paper 75 gm is a bonded paper. So there are very small ridges running through it. Regular fountain pens again worked very well on this paper. But italic cursive writing was the most difficult on this paper because of the ridges in the paper. This paper would be OK for formal italic. The paper itself is the prettiest paper of all 6 that I tried. Since ALL of the paper I tried is “writing paper,” I really did not have any major problems with bleeding or feathering. Comparing the ghosting from best (least show through) to worse (most show through): Best: MD Midori Rhodia Strathmore Calligraphy Paper Triomphe Clairefontaine Strathmore Premium Writing Paper 25% Cotton Worst: Tomoe 68 gm paper My conclusions regarding these papers for the way that I write, and the pens that I use: For both regular nib fountain pens and italic nibs, I prefer both the Midori and Clairefonatine. These 2 papers work the best (FOR ME) as all around writing paper. For formal italic, I would normally use specialty papers….but the strathmore calligraphy paper, as well as the Midori and Clairefontain could also be made to work okay for formal italic. If I’m only using regular fountain pen nibs (not italic), then all of them EXCEPT Tomoe and Rhodia. The Tomoe and Rhodia paper are simply to slick for me. I don’t like how my pens feel when I write on these papers, and I am not able to control my pens well. I suppose you could say they are “too buttery” for my taste. Sorry about the pun. I like to be able to have control and “feel” my pens working on the paper. And I do NOT have a heavy hand when I write. I know most people will probably disagree with me, but that’s just my opinion based on my experience with these papers. In time and with more writing experience, this could change. I’d be curious about how others feel; especially in regard to using italic nibs for cursive handwriting. What paper do you prefer? Which nibs on which paper. And why?
  11. Well, I bit the apple and made my first review video. In this overview of Yamamoto Paper's Cosmo Air Light, I ramble, talk about inks and pens, and caress the lovely paper. https://youtu.be/T4EkXfXDts4
  12. I saw a thread on not participating in InCoWriMo, but I am participating. I thought it fair to hear from our side. I need reasons to use my pens, and letters are my primary way. I have pen pals. I am using the Travelers Notebook calendar insert Weekly and Memo. I have succeeded at InCoWriMo in 2013 and 2019. I hope to succeed like I did last year. I wrote to pen pals, and people on an InCoWriMo list. I also wrote to some companies. When I wrote to Reeses, telling them about my love of their peanut butter cups, and a few of their other candy bars, I got a reply letter. It included coupons! I wrote to a museum in 2013 praising the experience but sorry the pressed penny machine did not work. They sent a reply that included pressed pennies. I am not promising you get these replies, because others did not send any reply. But that is part of the adventure of letter writing. I will try to succeed at InCoWriMo this year, and be a full participant for 2 years in a row. So, are you participating in InCoWriMo? Tell us why.
  13. https://images.vfl.ru/ii/1578313765/8a2faaad/29120766.jpg Montblanc Boheme (custom UEF\Needlepoint), Montblanc Royal Blue, Fritz-Shimpf Feinpost, Fritz-Schimpf Leinen, Crown Mill Vellium, Crown Mill Classic Line|Verge https://images.vfl.ru/ii/1578315892/b0adffb7/29121062.jpg https://images.vfl.ru/ii/1578313768/a2e8c426/29120785.jpg More photo about paper test. (Sorry, post in Cyrillic but with many informative photos. If you need translate to English I can do it in a few days).
  14. I would love a list of FP friendly products targeted towards the UK. All I can get locally (East Yorkshire) at present is Clairefontaine and Oxford Optik. The Clairefontaine paper is in Rhodia & Europa pads as well as under their own name. Some Supermarket chains do get Clairefontaine pads as part of a 'back-to-school' range in August and I am also hoping for a repeat in December/January '20 as I scored Clairefontaine A5 Koverbooks silly-cheap. Wilkinson (Wilko) used to have Silvene Memo books and exercise books cheap but do not do them now. It's all their 'own' brand light-weight paper, 60 or 70gsm that I know nothing about. Get a truly bad pad and you get bleed-through affecting two sheets & just marking the third sheet.
  15. sharktm

    Stationary?

    I will start with some background. I graduated from collage about a year ago and have really slowed in using my pens. I have recently really missed having a reason to put pen to paper and have started to look into getting into letter writing. Other then being of a generation where the pen has been mostly pushed aside for the latest iPhone leading to me not having the best handwriting I have one very dumb question. How important is it to use proper stationary? I only ask as I dont want to seem rude writing on plane printer paper or some other easily accessible paper as long as its not notebook paper.
  16. kingcobradude

    Paper For Bookbinding

    I am thinking of making a journal/notebook in a midieval cord/board binding with clasps, (Really for a handwritten recipe book that I can add to as my recipe collection grows),and I am looking for a good paper for the signature. Some basic requirements: -Compatible with fountain/dip pens -Acid free(preferably a bit alkaline/archival) -strong enough to withstand bookbinding and use in a book -not too heavy or light (around 110gsm) fairly inexpensive per sheet I want the finished signatures to be around 10 by 13 inches. Any suggestions?
  17. I've used printer paper for a year and used a fountain pen almost exclusively. Everywhere i go I hear that printer paper is bad and you shouldn't write with a fountain pen on it, but I've had pretty much no problem with it. I've only used Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue and Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black and I've heard they are dry inks, so maybe thats why I had no feathering, or any bleedthrough that's too bad. Also I've mostly used a Japanese medium nib. It was some 80gsm ink jet paper from Fabriano (it was Copy 3 I think) I got it because it was cheap, and it looks like it performs vastly better than cheap notebook paper. Why is printer paper frowned upon? Sounds like a good option for people on a budget.
  18. So I have like four dot grid notebooks that were gifts because people knew I liked pens and use dot grid notebooks. The problem I'm having is that they bleed and feather when I use anything other than a fine or extra-fine nib, or a wet ink. I would like to find someway to use them, until I can get a fountain pen friendly B5 notebook for my daily notes. There has been significant discussion on using art fixatives to preserve notes, addresses, drawings, etc. AFTER they have been created, but I can't find anything regarding reducing the porosity and absorbency of "cheap paper" to make it fountain pen friendly. Does anyone have solutions or hacks for this, or is it simply buying quality (and expensive) papers. I am going to do a test with my wife's hair spray lightly sprayed on a sheet then quickly wiped down. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated. Jim Bunch
  19. Hello, everyone! I got hooked on fountain pens when I went to a pen show with the intention to look for good notebooks for bullet journaling. Well, before the first day was done, I had two FPs, two inks, and a lot of advice to absorb! I ended the show with one more pen (all Pilots: two Kaküno and a Metropolitan) and two more inks. Soon I combed local shops and ended up with a wonky-nibbed Lamy Al-Star and a non-working vintage Sheaffer. Since that fateful first week, I have attended a local meet-up where I was given a cheap but pretty Jinhao. Lots of future friends there, I hope. I also went to Anderson Pens in Appleton Wisconsin, where a very nice man took my Sheaffer to restore it to operational capacity (oh my gosh I love writing with it!). I also got my first ink samples and a couple more full bottles. Also some maintenance gear. My kit is rather impressive for a newbie; I just hate that its in a pink case. But it fits everything, so I deal with the bubblegum color. I adore beautiful inks, my ink wishlist is far bigger than my pen list. Because of that I think I need a glass dip pen for testing out those inks. I will also be thinking of what next-level pen to save up for, because the next St Louis Pen Show will also fall on my fifth wedding anniversary! Hubby will buy me a pen without attending, I expect. Thanks for letting me be a part of this community! I cant wait to learn from all of you!
  20. I've figured out that the Pen and Gear brand notebooks sold exclusively at Walmart are fountain pen friendly! They aren't quite up there with Tomoe or Rhodia or Clairefontaine in terms of quality, but I've basically never experienced feathering with this paper, with the ONLY exception being feathering along a single paper fiber, which hardly qualifies as feathering, and I've used this paper with dip pens and fountain pen ink (for calligraphy). I can only speak for the spiral notebooks with a colored plastic cover, but I've been using these notebooks for years and the quality remains the same and consistent. You wouldn't be able to tell by feel of the paper but it's actually pretty amazing with a variety of inks. And the PRICE! Last time I bought any it was about $1 a standard sized notebook. If you want proof, check out my Insta @pen.meets.ink! And it shows a pretty good amount of sheen, if you care about that too. Just wanted to let people know since it's easier to get your hands on these notebooks when back to school season starts, and it's GREAT if you're still in school
  21. This is my first post so bear with me. The pics and my handwriting could be better I hear brands like Tomoe River and Rhodia being fountain pen friendly paper but they cost a bit too much for me. I discovered that Kmart notebooks actually handle fountain pen inks pretty darn well. Good budget paper for flex pen calligraphy practice. I have attached some pics which could hopefully illustrate my point. Shading from a Pilot Fine nib. I used Robert Oster's Clearwater Rain which showed a hint of the elusive red sheen in this pic. Alternative ink with Pilot Justus FM and Pelikan Adventurine. To prove my point, same ink on different paper. (top: random paper taken from uni printer, bottom: J Burrow's Premium Digital Paper) By comparison, normal paper (and 'premium') paper just cant handle too much ink without feathering, whereas the Kmart paper just handles it like a champ. Not a single trace of feathering. I bought this notebook from Australian Kmart. Not sure if its the same for Kmart's in other countries.
  22. I have been looking for a suitable book do start my commonplace book in, and after some searching and thinking I decided to choose the Peter Pauper Press Universe Journal. I was attracted not only by the cover, but also the mention of "archival paper" being used in it. I received the book today, and seeing the general lack of information on Peter Pauper Press products in comparison to Rhodia, Clairfontaine, Tomoe River etc, I have decide to do a bit of an overview. The cover itself is supposed to replicate the the binding of The Universe: or The Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little, which was a layperson's encyclopaedia of the sciences by the Frenchman Félix-Archimède Pouchet, and was published in London in 1870. Compared to the picture from archive.org, it appears that the modern cover is relatively faithful to the original: However, the size of the modern adaption is different, coming up to around 162x218mm, or 6 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches. The paper itself is relatively smooth, and is 100gsm. If you want an idea of what it feels like, think Clairefontaine 90gsm ivory brushed vellum paper, but with a little bit more texture. In addition, the paper is supposedly acid-free and archival. I say "supposedly" because these words do not technically have concrete, standard definitions. An interesting feature is the gold edges of the book: In addition the lines in the journal are relatively faint, at least compared to the lines in a Rhodia Webbie. They're not solid, but instead are dotted. I like this feature as it provides a guideline without being too distracting. The book claims to lie flat. Unless you are an extreme perfectionist, this statement is true. Yes, you will get some bulge, but that is to be expected. It lies flat enough for me. I have not gotten around to writing in it yet, as I am currently waiting on some ink (Rohrer & Klingner Zeichentusche Sepia) which I aim to use exclusively in this book, so I will post a writing sample when I have to opportunity to do some writing in it.
  23. An interesting article from Scientific American New Scientist (edited - thanks to those who pointed out the error), 1959, outlining the history of the development of quick-drying fountain pen ink, and how the ink and paper interact to influence perceived feathering or line spread. It also is clear how ink recipes can affect pen components or reliability thereof. http://bit.ly/Science_of_Quick_Drying_Fountain_Pen_Inks
  24. Hello everyone! When one discusses about the writing experience of fountain pens, a common topic is the combination of the three big elements of FP writing: pen, paper and ink. If one starts the fp hobby, more or less inevitably end up becoming a paper connoisseur and with one or more tri-part favorite combos. Perhaps less mentioned is the recurrence of the topic with other types of pens, specially with ballpoint pens which have a double reputation of "writing on almost anything" (including paper, plastic surfaces, etc. due to water insoluble, high viscosity ink) and also of being really temperamental hard-starting and skipping writers. After writing with fps for a while, I discovered that I like writing marks on paper as much as I like my fountain pens. lately I got back to (mechanical) pencils and ballpoints and started exploring into gel ink (rollerball?) pens. I am gladly surprised at what ballpoints can deliver in terms of smoothness, saturation and overall writing experience. Not what I remember of ballpoints as hideous disposable writing instruments. My current theory is that those poor pens are actually the remnants of once ok pens that suffered horrific mistreatments and kept painfully going despite this So, for new-out-of-the-package ballpoints (modern ones, of course) the writing is not nearly as bad... well, most of the time. I have noticed that paper quality is of great importance for ballpoints, maybe even as much as with fountain pens! Let me explain why I think this is the case: After trying some brand new pens, I noticed that they wrote sometimes allrigth and sometimes very badly. This behavior coincided mostly with the end of pages where my arm and hand have passed many times, in contrast with fresh empty pages where writing was easy at first. At other times, the pens skipped on one particular part of the page and refuse to write no matter how hard I push. In this cases, the writing sensation was quite distinct, and can be described as if the point of the pen slides over a very smooth surface. This can be proven by looking close to the area where the pen is not writing where the surface looks polished and even slightly shiny. In normal writing, ballpoints have a drag feeling due to the viscosity of the ink but this was obviously not the case here. In order to write, the ball at the tip of a ballpoint pen needs to be constantly covered in ink, which is achieved by means of the rotation of the ball caused by the friction with the paper. So, to write, a ballpoint needs that the friction of the tip with the paper be more than the friction of the ball with the ink above it. If, for any reason the ball gets stuck, or the friction with the tip diminishes enough, the ball does not rotate and ink cannot come out. The issue with paper is then if the paper can grip the point strongly enough to make it roll. In a fresh page, the surface is still rough enough to make this happen (Ink may also contribute to stick the point to the paper), but in the polished surface at the end of a page, it may become more and more difficult until the pen starts skipping and refusing to start. Other contributing factor that is relatively easy to observe is that small fibers can shed off the surface of the paper, then stick to the ink at the point of the pen and collect at the side of the nozzle making the ball stuck. this becomes visible as a little ball of inky fibers at one side of the tip. When you remove this material by wiping the borders of the tip in a clean paper, the pen starts out smooth again. This is very much reduced in other kinds of paper. I discovered that coated papers tend to grip the point much better, which eliminates skipping and makes starts much easier. the same papers tend to make a variety of pens to write nicer and smoother. Lines also look much more saturated and uniform. On the other hand, the tendency to smearing is more pronounced. So, in practice, there may be also good (even ideal) ballpoint friendly paper. I'd like to know if any of you have also had similar experiences and what is your favorite paper in combination with ballpoints. Saludos Tadeo
  25. Which fountain pen inks would you use to test an unfamiliar paper product for (at least some aspects of) its fountain pen friendliness? Recently I've been in a frenzy of acquiring more notepads and notebooks, on which to write with fountain inks, largely in brick-and-mortar stores with Japanese names such as Daiso, Muji and Kinokuniya. Unfortunately, it is not common practice for stores here to have samples or tester units of paper products; Daiso has none, and Muji may put out just one or two but not selected on the basis of either, "compare our premium made-in-Japan writing paper, against our 'planting tree' line sourced primarily from Indonesia, and our recycled paper line with a minimum of 55% recycled content made in either country," or, "we say this line of notebooks is show-through resistant, so have a go writing or drawing on it with your pens of choice!" Kinokuniya offers a few, but far from covering all the main brands of which it sells multiple product lines; the samples are mostly $20+ notepads and $25+ journals. Nevertheless, Daiso products on a per-item (but not necessarily per-page) basis, are cheap enough to be perhaps 'worth' just buying one as a private tester unit, if upon inspection in-store the paper seems promising; the same can be said of (only) some Muji products. Not so what Kinokuniya sells! Anyway, I'm of a mind to put together a handful of (no more than five or six) fountain pens in a carry case, as the essential test kit for writing paper, whether I do the testing on provided tester units in-store, or what I actually purchased on a punt. Obviously, the selection of pens and inks would reflect my personal writing habits and preferences, but as a limited test kit and of course limited time in which to do such testing I'm primarily interested in covering edge cases while still being 'reasonable'. (For example, as far as I'm concerned, using Noodler's Polar Green ink would be unreasonable; in my experience it feathers on and bleeds through just about every make and type of paper, so much so I had to stop using it for anything and give my bottles of it away in spite of having bought them for its purported 'bulletproof' qualities.) Here's an example of the kind of testing I have in mind: Muji 裏うつりしにくいノート B5 Notebook Set Now, I'm curious as to what you — and everyone else — would choose for testing. I hate feeling as if I have to pre-empt this, but I want to make this clear: the question is not, "What would you like to see in a paper review prepared by someone else at their expense?" I want to know what's relevant and important enough to you that you would spend the money, take risks, and/or make the effort to buy, sample and test unfamiliar paper products for their suitability for your usage with fountain pens; what enthuses you enough that, pass or fail, you'll want to share the results at your cost with other hobbyists. I'm thinking in terms of us as doers and contributors to the community, not merely takers and consumers of crowd-sourced information or frugal shoppers. I'm still refining my own list, but roughly in order of priority: Platinum Carbon Black — I love pigment inks for their permanence and waterproofness, including not changing colour when soaked or washed, when it comes to content that I want to remain legible for the lifetime of the paper (and perhaps my lifetime); and I'd want a dense, dark, 'formal' colour for testing. Sadly, Sailor kiwaguro is not waterproof, and so I prefer Platinum Carbon Black, but I do find that some papers don't take well to the latter. All the better to include that as the Number One ink in my test kit. Interestingly, problems with feathering and bleed-through of this ink are more likely to manifest with high stroke density using a very narrow nib, as opposed to writing with a broad or stub nib, so for the purposes of the test kit, the ink will be dispensed using a Japanese Fine or Extra Fine nib.Platinum Classic Ink Lavender Black — I think a paper product should be tested for how it deals with iron-gall inks, and of the three iron-gall inks I have today (but two more are on order), I like the colour and punchiness of Lavender Black the best, when delivered using a Stub nib. Not just writing with a broad nib for "showing off" the ink, but to render some semblance of Italic writing on paper; the shading is a not-unwelcome side effect, but the base colour (which would get ruined by soaking or washing) and water resistance is the reason I use this ink.Pelikan 4001 Blue/Black — This is just a very old bottle of presumably iron-gall ink I have, which is what I use with the pen that has my favourite nib, a 14K gold Pelikan EF nib that Dan Smith customised to a crisp italic for me. For the purposes of testing a paper product, I'd be primarily looking at the crispness of the pen strokes on the page.Sailor Shikiori yodaki — I love the colour but hate the wetness of this ink, and it's a relatively expensive ink to boot (as it was never offered in the round 50ml Sailor Jentle bottles the way the sixteen originally Shikisai colours were). Oh, and it sheens green and gold. In my experience, many coated and uncoated papers don't deal well with a wet line of this ink.Diamine Iridescink Robert — A highly saturated monster-sheener of an ink, that is much cheaper than Sailor Shikiori yodaki and of which I have a large bottle. At the moment I primarily use it in a Pilot Elabo with a Soft Extra Fine nib, and many papers have problems with bleed-through when I allow the nib to linger for a moment as I try to flex the nib to get swells in pen strokes.I haven't quite decided what the sixth ink should be; Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black is a candidate, and so is Diamine Jalur Gemilang. I use Sailor souboku and seiboku pigment inks in Fine-nibbed pens often, but they tend to be so well-behaved on most papers that they don't warrant testing when I'm unsure of a new or unfamiliar paper product. Over to you! Edit: Eleven new inks just arrived in the past 24 hours, so I may have to look at revising my list.





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