What can I say? The papers I use are incredible! I have spent the last 18 years getting this paper thing right, and I think you will agree. I have narrowed it down to 4 perfect paper options. They are all acid-free, archival and hand torn.
The three lighter colored papers are for the journals, and the two on the left in the first photo are handmade from recycled fabrics. And the one on the far right is the Bamboo Paper which is NOT handmade and therefore is a bit more consistent in texture. All three papers are excellent for writing with any type of pen without fear of bleeding.
The Watercolor Paper is the whiter of the two. It is 100% cotton rag, and is designed for watercolor painting in addition to pen and ink (see Benno’s book). It is the thickest of the 3 journal papers so that one can paint on both sides of the page.
The Hemp Paper is the more rustic looking paper. It is a blend of hemp, jute, and cotton rags, and is a tiny bit thinner than the watercolor paper (see Mikey’s book). Since it is thin, it makes for a more compact book…and is therefore excellent for those wanting to scrapbook or collect memorabilia along their way, since there is more room in the spine for expansion.
The Bamboo Paper is our newest paper option. Though it is not handmade from recycled fabrics like the other 2, it IS earth friendly since it is made of 100% bamboo, which is a renewable resource! I usually recommend the Bamboo for folks with really micro tip fountain pens and for those who use pencils a lot. It has a smoother, more consistent surface than the other two, and looks like “normal” white paper, but still has the lovely hand-torn edges.
The Arches Black Paper is for the photo albums and is made by one of the oldest and most prestigious paper making mills in the world. The black paper books come with plenty of mounting corners to attach your photos to the pages. You have the choice of having your photo album with 100 pages of black paper (but you can only use one side for photos since you don’t want to place photos on facing pages..hence these books have 50 surfaces for photos) You can also choose to have your book made with 52 pages of black paper with 52 pages of vellum in between those pages to protect photos from rubbing…these books have 52 surfaces for photos and therefore hold a few more photos than black-paper-only books.