What is the best paper for your fountain pen?

What is the best paper for your fountain pen? That's a hell of a question! :)

If you've already read my two guides to fountain pen ink and fountain pen paper , you know the basics so you can, on your own, choose the best products to create an unforgettable writing experience.

At the same time, I think we can all agree that both articles remain very theoretical, right? So I have prepared something more practical and concrete for you!

I prepared this ranking based on my personal experience, different rankings found on foreign sites, discussions with my clients and the latest survey conducted on my Instagram recently.

1. Tomoe River – the winner of many rankings and my personal favorite

In all the sources I consulted, Tomoe River paper, made in Japan, was always at the top of the ranking! So I decided to buy and test this paper...and I fell in love with it! For this it is also available in the store!

This paper is generally available in two different weights: 68g or 52g. A year ago, I would never have chosen this thickness of paper. I would expect it to go through the other side of the paper! What a surprise when I tested it for the first time!

I tested the notebook: Tomoe River A5 dotted pages and the sheets of paper in A5 format also: Tomoe River sheets of paper , both with 52g paper.

Even though theoretically it is the same paper, personally I think that the loose sheets of paper are slightly different from the notebook paper, it is as if they are more coated and therefore even smoother. It is, however, a very subtle difference.

Indeed the pages are very thin, but the ink does not bleed through much to the other side of the paper! It has a very silky and smooth texture, the fountain pen glides across the paper easily. According to the manufacturer, the pages are white, but I would say they are creamy white. The biggest advantage of this paper is how it highlights the beauty of the inks used ! Beautiful deep, shiny shades with sparkle, it's all really visible. In some cases, I discovered new qualities of inks that I had never seen on different papers! There is no feathering effect. (You don't really know what feathering is? I'll explain it to you here ). The disadvantage? This paper is slightly more expensive than the others (but definitely worth the price!). Also, if you use loose sheets of paper, be careful as they can tear more easily than other papers.

Tomoe River paper is recognized worldwide as a paper suitable for fountain pens.

White Tomoe River paper

Dotted Tomoe River Paper

2. APICA Premium – a great alternative to Tomoe River

APICA is a Japanese brand that creates high quality paper. The premium collection was created for lovers of fountain pen writing, to ensure the best possible writing experience. Like Tomoe paper, this paper is extremely smooth (maybe even a little smoother than Tomoe paper), it highlights the beauty of the inks, the nib glides easily...Even the shade of the white pages is the same than that of Tomoe paper.

I put it second only because this paper is mentioned much less often than the Tomoe River paper.

APICA Premium paper is recognized worldwide as a paper suitable for fountain pens.

APICA Premium Paper

3. Clairefontaine / Rhodia paper - great French quality!

Clairefontaine and Rhodia are now part of the same group, the paper used by the two brands is not always the same, but it is very very similar and considered suitable for fountain pens. You also mentioned it most often in my Instagram survey.

Personally I use the Rhodia dot pad . You can't even imagine my surprise when I used it for the first time! I was expecting a simple paper for quick notes, not this high quality paper which nicely highlights the beauty of the inks used! Rhodia definitely represents the best quality/price ratio! And it's French :) Let's support our French heritage! The paper is less smooth than Tomoe or Apica but honestly for me it doesn't change the performance of the ink. A disadvantage ? Well I like my notebooks to be pretty, Rhodia Dot Pad is very simple, so I'm missing an aesthetic point here.

Rhodia DotPad Paper

4. MD Paper - Traveler's Notebook

I've only been using the Traveler's Notebook since August 2023, so for 3 months, but I love it so much. It is also a Japanese paper, considered the quality paper and suitable for fountain pens. This paper is also less smooth than Tomoe and APICA paper, but it highlights the shading of the inks very well. The ink does not bleed through to the other side of the page, you can clearly see the glitter particles, there is no “feathering” effect. In addition, inserts for the Traveler's Notebook are available with different rulers, color and paper weight! A disadvantage? Normally the Traveler's Notebook inserts were created to be used with a leather cover of the same brand which is a little expensive. I will explain to you soon in another article soon why it is worth its price :)

MD Traveler's Notebook Paper

Traveler's Notebook MD Paper

5. Paper in Mark's products (Storage.it, Log Diary)

I only discovered this paper and this brand this year. Overall, I find this paper to be very good. It fits well with fountain pens . The highest quality is very smooth paper. It highlights the sparkle and shine of the inks very well. The result may be a little worse if you use a fountain pen with a very large nib, there may be a slight feathering effect, as well as a slight piercing effect. For me it's really not a problem since it's barely visible but I prefer to tell you :)

Storage.it paper

All the other papers available in the store are not generally considered suitable for fountain pens so I haven't placed them in the ranking, but that doesn't mean they aren't good for fountain pens!

I will add more information about them soon!

In the meantime, don't hesitate to tell me what you think of the ranking above? Is your favorite paper included?

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