by Tony Thomas
Finding fountain pen friendly paper in office supply stores is a real challenge. Much of it is very absorbent--kind of like writing on a napkin when using a fountain pen.
The biggest problem is that you usually can't try out the paper in the store or even touch it. The legal pads and looseleaf paper are sealed up in plastic wrap. As they say: “You pay your money and you take your chances.”
If you are like me, you can't afford to feed your pens a steady supply of Rhodia A4 pads at $9-10 each plus shipping. As I result, I find myself using legal pads and composition books for a lot of general note taking.
I either use a fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Bulletproof Black or some other non-feathering permanent ink like iron gall for that purpose. I also use various pencils since they are fast and non-fatiguing to write with.
I was in my local Staples store and was checking out their legal pad selection. I typically use the short pads (8.5 x 10.75 inch) since they fit in my padfolio. In my frugality, I decided to go with the cheap ($8 or so a dozen) pads.
When I got home, I decided to test one of the pads with two of my TWSBI 580s filled with Private Reserve inks. I was very pleased to discover that the paper didn’t feather much, it didn’t bleed through and there was only a bit of show through (after all, it is very thin 15# paper). Pretty impressive for really cheap paper!
Disclaimer: Companies like Staples change their paper suppliers all the time depending on their cost. That pads I bought have a black top strip with the Staples name on it. Other pads I purchased previously had red top strips. See the SKU and packaging photo below.
|Sample of Staples perforated writing pad (PR inks)|
|Sample from an older Staples legal pad with same PR ink|
|Information from the pack I bought|