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What is Fountain Pen Friendly Paper? – Writer's Bloc Blog

What is Fountain Pen Friendly Paper?

If you are a writer that uses fountain pens you may have noticed that not all paper is created equal. The performance of your fountain pen may be spectacular on some paper, but less than desirable on others. How do you determine what paper is fountain pen friendly – that will give you the performance you want with your fountain pens?

The answer to this question is kind of like the answer to the question, “What is a comfortable pair of shoes?” Everyone has their own opinions and not all of them are the same, but there are some similarities in the answers. If you ask the question, “What is the most comfortable pair of shoes in your closet?”, then the answers will vary even more!

Many opinions of what fountain pen friendly paper is will include the following (but not necessarily limited to these things or in this order of importance):

1) The fountain pen ink does not bleed through the paper excessively.

2) The ink is not overly visible from the back side of the page.

3) The ink does not feather or has minimal feathering on the paper.

4) And for the lefties of the world I will add the ink must dry within a reasonable amount of time on the paper! In fact, this personally is my highest priority, otherwise I cannot use the paper with a fountain pen. I’m hoping the use of fast-drying ink will expand my fountain pen friendly paper selection.

If you ask the question, “What fountain pen friendly paper is on your desk?”, you’re likely to get a variety of different answers! Each fountain pen nib, each brand of ink, each color of ink and the paper in each notebook or journal will interact differently when used with each other. The equation pen + paper + ink = good/bad results changes each time you change a component of the equation. This is why in our online store we cannot say for certain which paper is fountain pen friendly and which is not. There are brands of paper that in general are known for good performance with fountain pens, but within a brand there may be several types and grades of paper, some of which may not be so fountain pen friendly.

There are many online reviews of various paper products that can be very helpful in making your choices. The Writer’s Bloc blog has a number of reviews with writing tests showing the performance of a limited number of fountain pen inks on specific paper and notebooks. Before purchasing your journal or notebook, why not do a search on our blog or use any search engine to find some reviews? From our own experience, experimenting yourself with pens, ink and paper will help you to find what you personally like the best.

So I must ask, “What fountain pen friendly paper is on your desk?”


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10 Replies to “What is Fountain Pen Friendly Paper?”

  1. I would say Clairefontaine is my favorite fountain pen friendly paper but looking around my house it must be Rhodia. I have black and orange EVERYWHERE. I probably like the paper better from Clairefontaine but find that the covers look like something for school. They are less work appropriate than Rhodia notebooks.

  2. I’m hooked on Levenger’s Freeleaf note pads. They sent me a pair as a courtesy after some furniture I ordered arrived broken, but it was like getting your first taste of cocaine from the dealer for free. 😉 I asked for more for Christmas from my family, but if I don’t get any from Santa I’ll have to buy more myself.

  3. I too love my Rhodia notebooks. Can I also ask what pen is in the above picture? I can’t seem to put a name to it.

  4. I’m not a big paper guy because let’s face it, paper can get really expensive. The best paper I have is a few Rhodia and Clairefontaine notebooks. I really love that paper. It’s buttery smooth and very white. I use fountain pens in it, of course, and they glide on it so well.

  5. I am fairly new to fountain pen. I never learn cursive handwriting in school. When I got my first fountain pen, and try to wrote it on a very cheap paper, the ink bleed all over. Now, I carefully select the paper to use with my fountain pen. They do not come cheap.

  6. Rhodia and Clairefontaine papers are made by Exaclair in Europe, and made on the same machines in the same factory. Grade for grade they are identical! So, doh; if you like one, you like the other. The only differences are in the binding; staples vs spiral.

    They’re my favorite papers too, but lately I’m using the very similar but much cheaper Black and Red notebooks. The paper is almost as nice.

    1. Hi Carl, Thanks for telling us your favorites! I haven’t had a chance to try Oxford Optik yet, but I will certainly try it when I get the opportunity.

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