Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Question: Fountain Pen Friendly Letter Paper?


A Reader Question:
Good Morning and Happy (almost!) Thanksgiving! 
It's almost Thank you season and I'm taking stock of my stationary. I have used Crane Ecru sheets to write my letters (including thank you letters - I prefer those to cards) since I was a teenager, but my most recent box of Crane & Co stationary has "(c) CRANE&CO." printed on the back of each sheet. Unless this changes, this will likely be my last time purchasing that since I roll my eyes every time I flip the sheet over.  
I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for fountain pen friendly letter paper and envelope sets of a similar or higher quality that doesn't have a copy write mark printed on the back. Watermarks are fine.  
Thanks so much.

44 comments:

  1. I’ve used paper from American Stationery Company - their Double Thick line is quite nice. Most of that is in correspondence and note cards, but they do have sheet stationery as well. You have to sort through quite a bit of dreck to get to the more classic stationery, but it’s there!

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  2. Clairefontaine Triomphe and G. Lalo brands are both excellent choices for writing with fountain pens. You can find them in lots of places - I usually order online from JetPens.com

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  3. Crane was just sold to a foreign entity. Not sure how long any kind of Crane paper will be available.

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    1. I believe they were sold to a US paper manufacturer based in upstate NY......

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  4. While we're on this subject, can readers mention their favorite fountain pen brands/models? I would really like to start using a fountain pen and I'm wondering what your favorites are.

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    1. I second your request, please.

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    2. I third this request...perhaps even a separate post. Thanks so much.

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    3. I use a Monteblanc and an old Parker (both medium nib) at my desk, and recently added a Cross fine nib for when I’m out and about (I worry less about damaging that one).

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    4. I would recommend Kaweco Classic Sport medium nib. This is an excellent choice for beginners. Very low cost and a very decent german made nib. The pens size is rather small but if you post the cap it's normal size. I have it myself. Also have a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Classique PIX preciuos metals, a Cross and pen to dip. The last one is for roundhand writing with a flexible nib.

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    5. I use my father's old Parker, medium 18 carat gold nib. It was refurbished for me by Farney's pens. Writing with it is such a pleasure. On the right paper, it glides across the page like a hot knife cutting through butter.

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  5. I envy you being able to correspond with pen and paper. Because of my atrocious penmanship I limit myself to Crane notecards. My handwriting comes from my lovely Mother who was gifted in so many ways but a barely legible writer. My Dad's signature....was like a work of art. I do use a Mount Blanc however I'm getting to prefer my Pilot G2 but I always make sure I wear fleece when I use it.

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  6. For those who are interested in the rapidly-disappearing art, and/or skill, of penmanship, have you seen https://www.reddit.com/r/PenmanshipPorn/

    (Regrettable that it's called "Porn," though.)

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  7. Crown Mill stationery may be what you're looking for. To the person looking for a fountain pen, the Goulet Pen Co. website offers a wealth of information.

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  8. I have had good results from American stationery for note cards as well. My everyday fountain pen is a Lamy safari. Also have a Mont Blanc for the special notes.

    The Goulet Pen company (online based) is a pretty neat small business that sells fountain pens and a great selection of inks, refills, and paper. Always a treat to get some new colors to use!

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    1. I was going to post the same. I have four Lamy Safaris on my desk and have been using them since the early 1990s. I consider my Montblanc to be jewelry. My favorite place to get pens is Fountain Pen Hospital in NYC. Goulet is also very good.

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    2. Averyl, we could be kindred spirits. My go-to is a Lamy Safari also, and my Mont Blanc Generation is eye candy for my desk—it leaks, so I don’t bother to use it.

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  9. I like Pineider, which I get from Farney's Pens. Farney's also has an excellent fountain pen repair service.

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  10. I cannot recommend The Wren Press highly enough. The London-based company has an American branch in New York. It carries two Royal Warrants and the paper is of the highest quality. Tiffany, also, does excellent paper, but must be ordered directly from the New York flagship store. That situation with Crane sounds really dreadful.

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    1. Ummm ... I don't know about The Wren Press because, on their website, they refer to an invitation as an "invite."

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  11. I love the notecards and stationery from a shop called Scriptura here in New Orleans, but I'm afraid I don't know the brand. Although I still use the Parker fountain pen I used to take my bar exams 30 years ago on a daily basis, my "special occasion" fountain pen is my grandfather's Sterling Waterman's that he got as a groomsman's gift at my great uncle's wedding in the 1920s.

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  12. Many of you will regard this as heresy but I beg your indulgence. Please try a Varsity brand DISPOSABLE fountain pen. You may buy them from Amazon for a couple of dollars. They work beautifully. The tip is indistinguishable from a refillable pen and the ink product is as well.
    I've introduced them to long time Mont Blanc users and they're delighted.

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    1. I agree, the Pilot Varsity pens are a great item. However, I think the original requester has a pen already and is looking for FP-suitable note paper. His/her old standby (Crane) has taken a lurch downward in usability and the search is on for a replacement.

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    2. You absolutely can refill these wonderful pens. Check out the videos on You Tube.

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    3. I second the Varsity pens! I bought a bunch as stocking stuffers and people went nuts for them.

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  13. Favorite pen(s): Pelikan (Germany); Sailor (Japan); Parker (ballpoints, with Gel ink refills); Kaweco (Germany) for their Liliput pocket pens.

    Second the recommendations for Goulet Pens (Virginia), whose founder has filmed videos (YouTube) offering guidance and instruction on a wide range of pen questions; and JetPens (California), who have a wealth of pens, pencils, and associated items from Japan and elsewhere, a unique resource for writers. JetPens has helpfully prepared comparative tables for some of the items they offer, so that customers uncertain about which pen or pencil to buy will find explicit guidance on characteristics, pros and cons for the items.

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  14. I have a version of the Lamy Safari which has a metal barrel and cap rather than plastic; I think the name may be different, but I don't remember. Highly recommend it for everyday use.

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  15. Are you near Cambridge? Bob Slate has everything, along with good advice.

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    1. I shopped there thirty years ago. It's nice to hear it's still in business.

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  16. Clairefontaine paper is rumored to be very good, have not tried it though. ARH

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  17. Having left a couple of expensive Mont Blancs on airplanes, I have for years used Watermans, which can be had for well under a $100 and write as well as Mont Blanc. Speaking of airplanes, I still have not encountered a fountain pen that doesn't leak on airplanes.

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  18. Crown Mill is my go to stationary. It comes in a variety of sizes and texture. Clairefontaine is also a good option if you are looking for less formal and everyday use sheets. Clairefontaine paper is used in Rhodia blocks and notebooks, so Rhodia is also highly recommended.

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  19. I use a Mont Blanc that my father got me as a gift when I was admitted to the Bar in 1985. I don't recall offhand, but I think it's the "Diplomat" model (it is a large pen). This pen has been on my desk for years and I use it every day. I've also been using Crane ecru paper for personal notes and, after reading this, I took a look at the box that I bought last year. There is a Crane watermark, of course, but no other branding on the paper.

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  20. Gianni Basso and his son Stefano are your go-to gents in Venice for note cards. They will help you design your stationary (and your business cards). And they’ll use their ancient printing presses to produce them. The operation is one of a kind.

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  21. I've had a Parker Duofold Classic for years and recommend it.

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  22. I still use the trusty Parker Duofold I received when I graduated from Taft, three decades ago.

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  23. I've been using Smythson writing paper for over twenty years. It never fails me.

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    1. Yes, me too. Its quality is self-evident. I would never use anything else for important correspondence.

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  24. Are there any recommendations on cursive writing courses that I can take to improve my ghastly attempts at cursive?

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  25. Well! That bums me out. Excuse the vernacular but I've always used Crane.

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  26. I use my grandfather's Parker from the 30's. I found a stash of Crane stationery at an estate sale.

    slf

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  27. My handwriting is what many refer to as 'doctor's handwriting', so no amount of money spent on a fancy fountain pen would make any difference to me. I'd love a Parker Duofold, but fancy tools don't ever improve the work of an unskilled workman, so I use good old Parker Vector and Lamy Safari fountain pens. Perfectly good tools for an unskilled penman like myself.

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  28. @anonymous 9.27

    I think you meant Watertown.

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