Please Note: We have updated our standards since we last wrote about them 2011. Please see the blog posting Paperblanks® Craftsmanship Standards: Paper Quality Update for the most up-to-date information.
Our Craftsmanship Standards is a series of articles that take you behind the scenes of Paperblanks. Quality is the single most important part of the design process of our books. We attend to each detail and apply rigorous quality control checks to every component of our journals.
At Paperblanks, we understand that good quality paper makes journal writing a pleasurable experience. Our primary concern when selecting paper is that it is environmentally sound, that its opacity is consistently high and that its writing smoothness (how it handles ink) is exceptional. We use an ecologically-based pulp harvested from a sustainable lodge-pole pine forest from British Columbia, Canada. Our paper is acid-free and our binder boards are made with 100% recycled materials. Currently, we are in the process of gaining FSC* certification.
The Fountain Pen Tests
Due to the standard we set on craftsmanship, we decided in 2008 to change to a higher quality paper. Specifically, we wanted to improve upon how fountain pen ink takes to our paper. Working through an intensive round of fountain pen tests, we were able to provide an improved paper quality for this particular type of ink. Since then, we have used this new paper exclusively in our notebooks.
As book making is our passion, and the written word is very important to us, we ensure each component of our journals is of the highest quality. With our notebooks, you can expect a smooth writing finish with minimal bleed-through and feathering (what occurs when the ink spreads out on the page).
The finish of our paper is achieved by a type of processing called supercalendering. Through this process, our paper is pressed between rolls to create that additional smoothness our notebooks are known for.
Opacity is a property of paper that describes the amount of light transmitted through it. A paper’s opacity determines the extent to which printing on one side of the paper will be visible on the reverse side (called show-through), and is measured by percentage. Complete opacity is 100% and complete transparency is 0%. We work closely with each of our paper mills to create a specially formulated paper that ensures we achieve our high opacity and writing standards.
* Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way. Mohawk grades that carry the FSC-certified designation meet the strict standards set forth by FSC. www.fscus.org.