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Rhodia

March 29, 2008

Howdy!

For today’s entry, Rhodia paper. Why paper? Surely it’s all the same? Tut, tut! You haven’t tried paper, until you’ve tried Rhodia.



First up, the technical specs:

  • Orange water-resistant cardboard covers that are scored in such a way so that they fold back neatly
  • High Grade Vellum Paper (80g/m2, acid free)
  • Extremely fine, white, and smooth to write on
  • Micro-perforated sheets that tear out neatly

Some other things that I like:

  • Available in all sorts of sizes – from a very small 7.4cm x 21cm size, to A3 if you like (42cm x 31.8cm), and of course, my favourite – A4
  • Available in blank, grids, ruled, ruled with margins, and a few other options
  • Available pre-punched

Now for why I like it so much: it’s the best paper I’ve found for writing with either fountain pens or pencils. For me, fountain pens have always seemed like an odd writing instrument. They were superseded many years ago with the invention of the ball-point, right? That was my stance, until my good mate (let’s call him “Jim”) introduced me to them.

Jim’s a pen fanatic. He buys, collects, sells, repairs and restores fountain pens. One day, a package from Jim arrived at work, containing a thank-you note, a restored pen, and a bottle of Quink. Since then, I’ve caught a small dose of his affliction, in that I now reach for the fountain pen where previously a ball-point or pencil would have been the sword of choice.

One of my complaints, though, was that fountain pen ink bleeds through some papers, or “feathers”. Newspaper would be the worst example of this, but most other paper does this as well. Even my trusty Moleskine notebooks suffered from this.

This issue came up over a coffee with Jim one morning. A day later, another package came in to work, this time containing just two sheets of paper. One of those was Rhodia. And I was hooked.

Just one problem… you can’t buy the stuff here in Australia! (I’d be delighted to be proven wrong on this – let me know if I’m wrong!) A few hours with Google, and a few emails to international stationers, and a batch eventually found its way down under. I’ve got two pads of the grid design, one ruled with a margin, and one blank.

I’ve taken a few photos showing Rhodia compared with regular A4 paper. Apologies up front for the muddy contrast. (I’ll have to experiment with my camera’s white balance settings some more).

This first one’s Rhodia. There’s no feathering at all. I didn’t photo the other side, but if I had, you’d see no bleeding through at all. What can’t be captured in a picture is the feel. Using a fountain pen, the nib just glides across the surface – it feels almost waxy, but has just enough “tooth” so the pen doesn’t run away from you. It’s a similar joy with a pencil, by the way.

This next shot is regular A4 paper. If you look closely, you can see the difference in the coarseness of the paper. At the top (right side of this photo), you can see where I’ve written on the reverse side of the paper – it hasn’t bled through too badly, but it’s there all the same.

This final shot shows Moleskine notebook paper. This is just too thin for fountain pens. I still love the Moleskine notebooks, by the way, but for me, they’re strictly pencil-use-only. You can see where the fountain pen has bled through from the reverse side of the page at the top of the photo.

So that’s it folks! I’d be interested to hear from any other Rhodia fans out there. Even better, if there are any Aussies who have found somewhere to buy it locally, let me know!


Click on the Post Title to go to their website, or click here: http://www.bloc-rhodia.fr/Home.html
Here’s another site that you may find useful: http://rhodiadrive.com/

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 17, 2009 4:08 am

    Rhodia are widely available in Taiwan, where I’m living for now. I’m surprised at the amount of bleeding, as the plain paper A4 Moleskine I just bought has 100 g/m2. I love fountain pens. When I was in grade school in Strasbourg in an international school, we had to write with fountain pens. I was astounded when I arrived in Quebec, Canada at the age of 10 that we could use pencils. It just seemed so dirty compared to fountain pens.

    Anyway, fountain pens are great for cursive writing. They flow and the writing flows as well. I like them for that. For most of my writing, I tend to use archival ink pens, like Sakura Microns and Faber Castell Ecco Pigment. The Pentel Tradio isn’t bad, but I found that the tip breaks easily. It will then make the pen flow all over the place, which I discovered.

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