Tomoe River Paper

Tomoe River paper has been long-awaited. Many people in the UK have already used it, by ordering it in from other countries, with the delays and import duties that can involve. It’s famous around the world among those a little obsessed with this sort of thing. And since the venn diagram of ‘people obsessed with this sort of thing’ and ‘our customers’ has quite a bit of crossover, we thought we’d better stock it.

Let’s get straight to the elephant in the room here. It’s expensive. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth it to you, but if you think the sort of paper you can pick up at the big office supply shops, or at the supermarket, is expensive, this might be a bit startling to you. If you compare it with other good quality writing paper, it’s not so surprising, but the thickness of the paper is.

The thing that makes Tomoe River paper so unusual, and so wonderful for some people, is that it’s so thin. Standard copier paper is 80gsm, while nicer quality paper is usually around 90gsm. Around 120gsm is where thick paper starts to feel more like thin card.  Tomoe River paper is 52gsm - much, much lighter than ordinary papers. Being this thin would usually mean it would let ink soak straight through - maybe just about ok for ballpoints, but terrible for rollerballs and fountain pens. But Tomoe River isn’t like that at all - it works perfectly well with any types of pen, with very little feathering or bleeding, even with fountain pen inks.

The result is that you can carry more paper with less weight and thickness. You can get more sheets of paper in a thin envelope, so you can send more by letter post.

Getting more in the post was the original reason Tomoe River paper was developed. Sending out printed catalogues was really important to many Japanese businesses, but the cost of posting thick, heavy catalogues was a problem. Tomoegawa developed a paper that could be made really thin, but still take the print well, and would still give a quality feel. It’s no good sending out a catalogue printed on paper that *feels* cheap - it would reflect badly on your company. It was only later that people thought to try the same paper as writing paper, and found that it worked really well, with almost any type of ink.

So, if thin paper that’s actually good sounds like something you’d find useful, you can now get Tomoe River paper directly from us in the UK.

12 May 2015

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