Yamamoto Papers Part I: The Thicker Ones
I have long been promising writing samples of these papers, and at last here I am with them. There are eleven types of paper that we got in from Yamamoto. All the papers can be found on the website here. I’m splitting them into three blog posts to help separate all the information a bit.
They are loosely organized by weight: the heaviest (3), the middle papers (4) and the lightest (4).
I will try to keep my own personal thoughts to a minimum, which no one really cares about anyways, since I have the official (!) translations of the paper details from the manufacturer. The descriptions are indeed very informative, and it’s interesting to see some of the background or context for these papers. All the descriptions from the manufacturer are in italics. For each of these papers, I have tried to include a photo of the general writing sample as well as a close up of how the ink looks on the page. I tried to use a variety of inks and relatively inky pens, but it’s tilting at windmills to try and cover everything. These are just to give you an idea.
The first set are the heavier papers:
New Chiffon Cream is a light-cream colored book paper that is thick, light, and soft. Book paper, or high bulk paper, was developed to meet the needs of publishers who wanted a paper that balanced portability with thickness. It is a paper with low fiber density that is very light for its thickness. Its lightness makes it easy to carry without being brittle. It is suited for printing both text and images, and does not allow any bleed-through on the page. In addition to these great properties, New Chiffon Cream is PH neutral so it does not discolor over time, offering great archivability. In our ink tests, Sailor and Platinum inks dried almost immediately and showed no bleed-through. Some very wet inks, such as J. Herbin inks, showed slight bleed-through. However, the slightly rough surface provides a wonderful feel when writing. We at Yamamoto Paper like this paper so much, that we use it in our very own RO-BIKI NOTE notebooks. We highly recommend using this paper with ballpoints and fountain pens.
This one is lovely! It has a subtle cream colour to it, and it feels great, both smooth and just the slightest hint of texture. Definitely a thicker paper. Probably my personal choice for correspondence when you’d like something a bit luxurious.
OK Fools was the first Fool's Cap paper produced in Japan by Ohtori Paper. In Japan, the term "Fools Paper" has long been used to refer to high-end writing paper. British Fool's Cap paper was first imported into Japan in the late 1800s. The popular Japanese version was produced at the Oji Ogura Factory, where the name OK comes from. While the current iteration is being made by Nippon Paper Industries Yatsushiro Factory, they have kept the OK name for brand recognition. Our ink tests with blue and black Sailor and Platinum inks showed no feathering nor bleed-through. Very wet redish-pinkish J. Herbin inks showed slight feathering and bleed-through. We recommend writing with Medium or finer nibs.
OK Fools is probably the smoothest and most luxurious of the papers, despite its name. It also has a watermark, which is a nice touch, although it’s not immediately evident because the paper is fairly thick. It’s smooth to the touch as well as to write on.
Cosmo Air Light is a micro-coated book paper that is well suited for printing. It is categorized as high bulk book paper, and is used mostly for color printing of magazines and catalogs. This paper is known for its gentle white color that is not harsh on the eyes and for its accuracy of color representation. The micro-coated surface allows for beautiful photo reproductions. Our fountain pen ink tests showed longer than average dry times, but produced great color rendition accuracy, especially for colored inks. The micro-coated surface is not overly smooth and gives you a nice writing experience.
The Japanese have translated it to a “nice writing experience” and this is a classic Japanese understatement. This paper is really lovely, and there is a distinctive feel to it. Ink looks fabulous on it, very rich and the lines and colours are so crisp. Great for people who love broad nibs or showing off shading and sheen with inks.
Please stay tuned for Part II and Part III which will cover the remaining eight kinds of paper, the medium-light ones and then the lightest ones. For those of you that need some incentive to tune back in, the lighter ones are satisfyingly crinklier. How exciting.