Rhodia Premium “R” Paper

With Rhodia’s 80th Anniversary Celebration and Giveaway going on this week at the shop, I figured it might be nice to see some of Rhodia’s greatest hits. Rhodia’s Premium paper is some of my favourite paper out there for fountain pen nuts. 

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Rhodia Premium “R” Paper is the higher end version of their paper, and it’s available in pads or in their Webnotebooks. It is super paper. Back when I was in the store full time, I had a regular customer who came in to buy stacks of Rhodia pads for his research and notes, and every once in a while he would get a Premium pad as a treat, and we would discuss how it’s a bit more luxurious, and how your ideas suddenly become much classier when it’s on the smooth ivory paper. (We are mostly referring to his ideas, as I just doodle, and I am assuming he still comes in.)

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Rhodia Premium Paper is the more expensive and higher quality version of the Rhodia paper that is in most of their pads. We carry the Premium pads in orange and black, and in A4 and A5 size.

Here are some of the key differences:

Premium Standard
Ivory White
90gsm 80gsm
Ruled, Plain* Ruled, Graph, Dot, Plain*
70 sheets 80 sheets
Costs more Costs less

*We normally don’t stock the plain, but let us know if you’d like us to bring it in as a special order.

The cover on the premium paper is also a bit more suede-y.

This stuff is the bee’s knees. It’s creamy, both in colour and texture. It’s super smooth, and there is as close to no feathering or bleed-through as you can get. If you are writing a letter, a note to your boss, or playing around with a flex pen, this is it. It’s heavier and denser, so even though a pad of it is the same thickness as a regular Rhodia pad, it has fewer sheets.

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The writing sample was done with a Noodler’s Ahab and J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie, which is a great shading ink. With many shading inks or inks with sheen, it shows up best on good paper, like Clairefontaine, Tomoe River or this Rhodia paper here.

The thing about an Ahab or a Noodler’s flex pen is that they’re flexible, but more like an average person flexible, not ballerina flexible, so when you write with it, sometimes your pressure on the tines forces the tines to dig in a bit to the paper. On some paper, this is terrible, and on most paper it’s okay. The digging into the paper with the tines scratches up the fibres, and the ink feathers more as a result. 

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However, I also find that part of being so “ink-resistant”, or so completely anti-feather or bleeding at all, is that if you have a very dry pen, it will seem to write even drier, because there is nothing to help draw the ink out.

While this paper can handle the really wet pens, it also has a noticeably longer dry time – something to be careful of if you’re writing with a super broad or italic nib, or if you’re left-handed. It’s the trade-off for your inks looking crispy crispy.

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There is no bleedthrough at all, even where the tines pressed the hardest. With a regular nib and writing without pressure as you normally would with a fountain pen, you would certainly be hard-pressed to get any bleed through with almost any ink.

Rhodia’s standard line of paper is great for getting the job done, but the premium stuff is when you need to get it done with a little panache. It’s also just…nice to write with.

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