Recently my friend John Bosley launched a shop on his site Fountain Pen Love (https://fountainpenlove.com) selling sample packs of paper and I volunteered to be the test subject for international shipping.
It all went surprising smoothly and in a matter of a few days I had the sample pack, the pack provides an excellent selection of papers but rather than me retype the list here it is, direct from John’s site:
This all-encompassing fountain pen paper sample pack contains 17 different paper types, all of which are fountain pen friendly. This allows you to try out a variety of different papers, from basic printer paper to luxury notebooks, before you buy the whole thing! Includes (3) A5 or (2) B5 or Letter sized sheets of each paper type. Paper may be lined, gridded or blank. Papers include:
- Apica CD 15
- Apica Premium CD
- Black n’ Red Spiral Notebook
- Clairfontaine Basics Notebook
- Clairfontaine Triomphe
- Fabriano EcoQua
- Lalo Verge de France
- HP Premium32
- Life Bank Paper
- Life L. Writing Paper
- Life Noble Note
- Midori MD
- Mnemosyne 183
- Rhodia Dot Pad
- Tomoe River 52gsm
- Tomoe River 68gsm
Papers will be grouped together with a paper label and secured with washi tape so that you know which is which. Please be sure to keep track of them somehow, maybe by labelling each one, otherwise you won’t know which is which if they get mixed up! Many have been carefully removed from a notebook, so the exact dimensions may vary slightly from sheet to sheet. Sheets that are B5 sized will be folded in half so that they fit the envelope.
The pack comes with the listed samples, above, and a letter from John explaining ‘fountain pen friendly paper’, the labelling of the samples and some advice on sheen and shading.
From my point of view these packs are invaluable; they allow me the chance to try out a range of papers before having to commit to a whole notebook. For instance, to buy a Baron Fig notebook on its own would cost me more than the sample pack but with the sample pack I get to try before I buy and decide if I want to make the investment.
I’ve tried out a few of the samples with different pens and inks and I’ve had good results with each of them; of course, this then leads to the very complicated question of which one to order first.
All in all, I would highly recommend the sample packs; they are the best way of trying out different papers without the financial commitment of buying one or more notebooks.
I would also encourage you to visit John’s site, it is packed full of useful advice, reviews, latest deals and for anyone new to fountain pens there is an excellent visual glossary.
Disclaimer: The paper sample pack was purchased with my own funds and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.