Beauty between the sheets
June 24, 2012 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I love writing letters to people - handwritten, with a fountain pen. Help me find a good paper for this purpose.

I'd love to find writing paper for what a friend and I are jokingly calling "a great correspondence". I usually use the Basildon Bond stuff you can buy at WH Smith here in the UK, but I'd like something more special.


- It should be a decent weight - at least 90gsm
- Nice, smooth surface for the fountain pen
- Acid free (can you get the paper you get in plain Moleskines anywhere as a writing pad?)
- Ideally A4 or similar
- Ideally there should be envelopes to match.
- Needs to be easily available in the UK, though I'm not above importing if necessary.

Suggestions welcome, hive mind.
posted by gmb to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Crane stationery is nice. Most of their correspondence-sized paper is not nearly as big as A4, but you could look at their business stationery for that. There are UK stores that sell it.

Trivia: The Queen Mum announced her 100th birthday celebration on Crane stationery, and Crane makes the paper for US money.
posted by Houstonian at 4:14 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I came in here to say Crane. I find it makes writing quite pleasurable, and receiving a letter on Crane stationery always makes me feel special.
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:20 PM on June 24, 2012

Best answer: Sticking with the European side of the pond: G. Lalo's 'Verge de France' tablets (FPN review) are stocked at good stationers (one example) in the UK. There's also Original Crown Mill from Belgium.

Smythson sort of deserves a mention, though it's increasingly a luxury goods' retailer, charging silly money for little leather-bound notebooks; its plain paper is very good, but much more expensive than it should be.
posted by holgate at 4:53 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I use my fountain pens to send handwritten notes I use Crane stationery. (twas a gift).

Also, try perusing the forums at Fountain Pen Network. Paper is a frequent topic of comversation:
posted by mikewas at 6:01 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've used different varieties of the "Verge de France" papers for writing with a fountain pen and they are very lovely and easy to write with. If you should happen to be by Oxford, there's a fantastic little shop called Scriptum that's probably very overpriced but offers a great selection of stationary and other little writing bits.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:21 PM on June 24, 2012

Best answer: If you live in a moderately large settlement, there is probably at least one specialist stationary store with a selection of quality writing paper. That may be a better option than ordering something online which you haven't seen in person or had a chance to handle. Once you find something you like, you can always re-order the same thing from a catalog or website.

All that said, I have used "Verge de France" paper with a fountain pen and found it to work quite well.
posted by sindark at 7:34 AM on June 25, 2012

For the very few times that I handwrite anything formal anymore, I have Crane stationery. I'm not sure of the exact paper type but I can vouch for the very smooth surface and non-feathering quality of the lines it produces when written on with a good pen.

That said, if you can find a local store I would definitely bring a pen or two down there, ask for some samples, and find something that suits you. It can be difficult to judge color when buying online; personally I like slightly off-white paper (almost ecru) but it can look terrible depending on the color of ink you prefer.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:16 AM on June 25, 2012

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