“Love” is the best way to describe my initial response to Tomoe River paper. For correspondence, general writing, or musing in a journal, this line brought joy to every fountain pen and ink duo tested. This is a writer’s paper.
The word-of-mouth is consistently outstanding, a rarity in the fountain pen community. There is no substitute for first-hand experience, so I solicited a sample from Jay at Paper For Fountain Pens. I was hoping for a few sheets, but he generously sent a journal, a pad and a packet of single sheets. He included a three-page letter that immediately got passed around to family members who were impressed with the texture and the thinness of the paper. We all use fountain pens and the amazing performance as evidenced by Jay’s letter wowed us all. Rest assured we are not easily impressed.
There is something unusually satisfying about the combination of weight and texture. It is not unlike airmail paper or even the paper in some Bibles. For people who are fascinated with paper, Tomoe River will delight the senses.
Tomoe River is smooth but not glassy and for fountain pens, that is a very good thing. It is smooth enough to tame even a scratchy nib and that earns it the highest marks. Given the weight of the paper, there is surprisingly mild show-through and only the occasional dot of bleed-through. The thin sheets pack a lot of writing into a very small profile.
The only caveat is that the paper needs somewhat gentle handling and the support of a solid writing surface. The journal format meets both criteria, but the pad and single sheets could use a protective binder and a desk or clip board for best performance. In fact the pad would benefit from a cover that could easily be constructed from a heavier paper measuring 9.5 – 10″ x 6 1/10″. This would allow enough extra paper to wrap around the top edge and glue to the back of the pad. It won’t interfere with detaching pages, but it will protect the top page and the edge where the pages are glued together.
Ink whisperer is fitting as the writing samples above show, but Noodler’s Blue Nose Bear is in a class unto itself. It’s a lovely color, but feathers on many brands and grades of paper as the samples below demonstrate. However, Tomoe River tames the beast and that is no mean feat.
This is one of the few papers that enhances shading. Yes, you read that right. The writing sample shows how well it does the job with inks that are so inclined.
Peruse the Paper for Fountain Pens website for more information, but suffice to say, this is one paper that won’t disappoint. I would never say you need to own anything, but Tomoe River might be the exception.
More at PenPaperInkLetter including a gazillion photos.