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Choosing the right writing paper

March 10, 2023 3 min read

Choosing the right writing paper

People who are passionate about fountain pens often focus on every detail of that special piece they love, the perfect nib and the colour and specifications of a certain ink. However, one aspect that may be less often contemplated, at least when entering into this passion, is the paper choice.

Choosing the right writing paper

The choice of the right paper for each type of writing should be taken into account, especially when using a fountain pen, as it can affect the quality of the stroke, the glide of the pen and the legibility of the text.

The most common difficulties that need to be taken into account are:


This refers to the problem that arises when the ink shows excessively on the back of the paper and may even leave traces on the next sheet. Some degree of "shadow" or transparency is not unusual, but if it penetrates the paper, you may need to use thicker paper. This is often the case with rough, uncoated paper.


This refers to the tendency of the ink to spread through the nearest fibres of the paper, resulting in a branching effect like a spider's web, losing definition in the line. High quality paper is specifically coated and designed to prevent ink dispersion. However, it should be noted that wider nibs deposit more ink that will soak into the fibres, making feathering more likely.



To prevent this, it is important to pay attention to the characteristics of the paper, especially the smoothness, drying time and absorbency of the paper, as they are interdependent:

Smoothness: Depending on the manufacturing process different textures are found, as the coating of the paper affects its smoothness. However, an excessively coated paper is slippery, and will hinder ink absorption and drying time. On the contrary, an uncoated paper will result in rough writing and will make it easier for the ink to disperse. Therefore, in the case of a paper for fountain pen use, it is ideal to look for a paper that is coated but with a smooth satin finish.

Drying time: It will vary according to the absorbency of the paper, the more absorbent the paper, the faster it will be. However, it will make diffusion and transfer more likely. Conversely, a paper with low absorbency will disperse the ink less, but will take longer to dry.

Absorption: On non-satin papers, the thickness of the paper will be decisive for the ink not to bleed through. 90g is considered to be a sufficient grammage. However, a very high absorption capacity will make ink dispersion inevitable, blurring the definition of the line.



Patterns: There are several styles of sheets, and while the most popular is lined paper, dotted paper is also interesting for lettering and calligraphy. The French ruler (Seyes) is another common choice for cursive writing, or even the grid for journaling. And although the so-called "blank" paper is the obvious choice for every artist, it is always a safe option for writing as well.

Colour: Most paper is white, off-white or cream. Depending on the colour of the ink to be used, a more beige tone can give a vintage look or a more luxurious feel. However, if you are looking to highlight the special colour or effect of the ink, it is preferable to de-emphasise the tone of the paper, tending towards something with less vibrancy.

Special Tips

Left-handed people should tend to use more absorbent paper to reduce drying time and avoid smudging the ink with their hand when writing (don't miss our tips especially for left-handers), while users of extra-fine EF nibs should consider using a less absorbent paper, to avoid that too fast drying disperses the ink and makes the line thicker.

By taking all these variants into account when choosing the perfect paper, you can achieve the ideal experience to match your ink and fountain pen.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team, we will be happy to help you!

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