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What is the best writing paper for fountain pens?

January 12, 2023 8 min read

What is the best writing paper for fountain pens?

There is a plethora of notebook and paper alternatives for those who prefer to use a fountain pen, but what do you do when you want to write a letter? Many of our go-to documents are already conveniently available in book form, and few of us would want to waste time ripping pages out of a notebook simply to jot down a few words. You might as well be in another world if you spend any time perusing notepads. Although many of the paper brands are recognizable, the papers themselves are quite diverse. In this piece, I'll give you my two cents on a wide variety of letter-writing sheets and share my thoughts on which ones are best.

Multiple Choices for Letter Paper

Letter writing paper, like notebooks, comes in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Sticky notepads and perforated pads are both available. Line spacing and paper color are two of the many customization options available. One variety of pad includes guidelines while another has blotting paper. Of course, there's also the matter of paper quality. What criteria will you use to determine which option is best for you?
In preparation for penning a letter, I gathered all of the stationary I own. Since most of these papers have already been the subject of an independent blog post, I won't be providing a comprehensive review here; instead, I'll focus on highlighting the paper's special qualities as they pertain to letter writing. In addition, I will explain why I think you should think about each paper. Here are my evaluations on each, and at the end of the piece I'll offer my suggestions (listed alphabetically).

Antique watch and fountain pen on old note book

One's Black and Red Notebook

This is a spiral-bound notebook, but each page is perforated so it can be easily torn out and slipped into an envelope. It's not the prettiest paper for a letter, but it's a delight to put pen to paper. Lined paper is the only option here.

fountain pen journal

Examining a Black and Red Notebook

Black and red notebook with a variety of fountain pen paper samples

An American's Triumph at Clairefontaine
Clairefontaine Triomphe is among the smoothest paper on the market, making the act of penning a letter on it feel all the more aristocratic. If your intended receiver is like most people, they probably won't notice. Your ink will look fantastic, however unfortunately the paper is somewhat dull. The quality of this paper as a whole, however, cannot be questioned. This is great paper if you don't care about presentation and just want to use it for writing. The option of a blank or lined page.

Critique of the Clairefontaine Triomphe

French poet and writer G. Lalo Verge
They will definitely notice the unusual quality of this paper. However, the lay texture is not to everyone's liking, so it's possible you won't use it much for writing. You may choose from a wide range of colors (with corresponding envelopes) and textures with this paper, making it a great alternative if you want to send a letter that stands out. Absolutely no lining options, ever.

Evaluation of G. Lalo's Verge of France

Compaq Presario CQ28 and CQ32
The fact that it is printer paper cannot be denied. The printer paper is compatible with fountain pens, but it is still printer paper. The Premium32 is really thick and will rapidly fill an envelope, but I'm not a fan of the Premium28 because I don't think it holds ink as well as the Premium32. The thickness makes it pleasant to work with. It comes unlined, but you can always have lines printed on it if you need them.

fountain pen and journal

Compare and Contrast the HP Premium28 and HP Premium32

Documentation for the Life Savings Bank
This could be a fantastic option for you if you enjoy a little bite in your newspaper. The ink on Life Bank paper dries quickly and stays put. If you're ever in a need, the sheet of blotter paper included at the beginning of each pad will come in handy. There is no lined option for this paper.
Retrospective on the Papers Saved by the Bank of Life

Suitable for use with a fountain pen, life insurance policies

Letter L Paper for Writing

Life L writing paper is some of the greatest paper for your fountain pens because it is more elegant and expensive than Life Bank paper. It's available in two distinct styles and two sizes: A5 and B5. While the A5's margins are decorated with elaborate designs, the B5's are plainer yet still quite generous. It's hard to pick a favorite because they're both so enjoyable to write on.

A Critical Analysis of Your Own Life Writing

Midori Stationery
The Midori Letter paper is designed for correspondence and differs slightly from the Midori MD notebook paper. An unusual feature of this pad of paper is that it contains two different paper colors—white on the front and cream on the back. There's also a guidance page included, with vertical and horizontal ruling on opposite sides. In addition to being wonderful for general letter writing, the paper also has a really nice cover.

Page of Products for Midori Letter Paper

superior letter writing paper for use with fountain pens paper for writing midori ideograms

Notepad for Doctors of Midori
We now offer Midori MD paper in a writing pad as well as a notebook, for those of you who just can't get enough of it. Unlike modern versions, older versions of these MD notepads are glued along both the top and one side. This is done so that the paper doesn't shift around while you write and your lines stay nice and straight. Current variants are lined and simply require top-gluing. You can get these on standard copy paper or on cotton paper.

personal organizer and pen on the table

Midori M.D. is the greatest paper for letter writing with a fountain pen.

Journal of Mnemonic Recollections

These spiral bound notebooks, like Black n' Red notebooks, are not designed for letter writing, but the micro-perforations make them quite convenient to use. There are many various paper size and style possibilities, making it ideal for correspondence. A few models that I recommend are the 195 (A5 lined), 183A (A5 blank), and 105. (A5 dot).

Evaluation of the Mnemosyne Journal

The Memory Packet: A Variety of Fountain Pen Paper

Users of fountain pens are likely familiar with Rhodia paper. Although it's not the most fascinating surface on which to jot down thoughts, most people probably have some scrap paper lying around that would work well for composing letters. Micro-perforations are supposed to make removal simple, however many individuals have had trouble with unevenly torn edges, which is problematic if you're mailing a letter.

Evaluating the Rhodia Note Pad

Cover of the Rhodia Dot Pad Review

Strathmore Paper for Writing

Even though it's not the most fascinating paper, it works fine for letters. It weighs in about 90gsm, has a cotton content, and has a pleasant texture when written on or handled. However, not everyone will appreciate the absence of gloss and shading, the color of creamy yellow, or the boldness of the blue lines. Even so, the dry times are lightning quick.

Graphic tablet with pen close-up

Product Detail for Strathmore Brand Writing Paper

Stratford Writng Paper is the Best Paper for Writing with a Fountain Pen.

GSM 52 and 68 for the Tomoe River

Tomoe River is the indisputable king of ink handling, and it's another type of paper that's practically mandatory for everyone who uses a fountain pen. It can also be purchased as individual sheets. The 52gsm paper is too thin to be comfortable for writing on, but it makes it easy to see through to the accompanying reference sheets. The 68gsm paper is easier to handle and has a nicer writing surface. Tomoe River is an excellent choice if letter weight is a concern, but I find that other papers provide a more pleasant writing and reading experience and hence choose to use them for my correspondence. Both a blank and a dot-grid version is offered.

Evaluate the Tomoe River

Tomoe River is the finest letter-writing paper available.

Suggestions from Me

Since I make an effort to write letters on a regular basis, I have developed a preference for certain sheets. In addition, there are many papers that may appeal to different audiences for various factors. Here are some suggestions for good letter paper, based on my own tastes and those of those around me.

When it comes to dry time, paper texture, and ink handling, I have found that Life Bank Paper hits the nail on the head every time. Even if I can't wait for my writing to dry, I can always use the blotter paper that came with the pen. When I write, there's a little bit of texture to it, which is nice. This paper is perfect for printing, as inks take on a glossy sheen and rich tonal shading. At $0.15 a sheet, it also won't break the bank. This paper is so nice that if I could only have one kind for letter writing, this would be it.
France's G. Lalo Verge - Although not everyone will appreciate writing on it, I guarantee that your receivers will find this paper to be the most pleasant and remarkable of the bunch. And it's the only kind of paper that comes in shades other than white and cream. The vast majority of buyers will select this item for the benefit of the letter's recipient, but many pen pals will also find it rewarding. It costs $0.20 per sheet, which is higher than average for paper.
Letter writers will appreciate Strathmore Writing Paper because it dries quickly, handles ink well, and is reasonably priced. Both the sender and the recipient will enjoy the feel of the cotton blend. It's not too pricey at only $0.15 per sheet.
Clairefontaine Triomphe's lined paper may not be particularly attractive, but the unlined version, when used with a guide sheet, can be quite sophisticated. If you prefer writing on smooth paper, you'll appreciate the quality of this letterhead. While I doubt the paper itself will make much of an impression on the letter's recipient, the quality of your ink certainly will. At under $0.10/sheet, it's a cheap choice.
So there you go. Those are the sheets I find to be the most suitable for letter writing with a fountain pen. Do you have any favorites that you think should be included? Please share your thoughts in the section below. Write on, happily!



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