The idea of a paper comparison germinated early last year, when I found (and bought) some heavily discounted A5 notebooks from Amazon. I had been using both cheap ringbound notebooks and Oxford Red n’ Black for work, for years, but these Clairefontaine Europa, came at an irresistable price. At about the same time I also found some interesting Fabriano, Moleskin and Leuchttrum notepads and notebooks at my local TKmaxx, so I decided to do a quick comparison to see how they behave with different inks. The results were interesting, and somewhat unexpected, so that set the idea of a more thorough test.
I was aware of many different papers and journals that people were discussing in our Fountain Pen facebook group, which I had never come across or used: Tomoe River, Midori, William Hannah, etc. So around November last year, I made a plea to the group for samples to add to my test. The response has been amazing, and ten different people so far have sent me samples of the ones I was missing. And more! With the holidays in between not everything arrived in one go of course, but by now, I have collected most of the papers I was after. I started the process of listing them this weekend, and the list of 60-odd different samples is overwhelming!
I have done a besic grouping in more logical categories, but my intention is to run the same set of tests on all of them, and document the results.
My next task is to devise and try out the set of tests I want to run, in order to make sure I can run them consistently on 60+ different papers! I’m looking to test feathering, ghosting, bleed through, response to sheen, shimmer and shading, normal writing with different nib sizes, calligraphy nibs, sketching, and drying speed.
To be continued… The Great Paper Test of 2022 (#GPT22) has begun!