Paper Fit for the Fanciest Fountain Pens

A fountain pen is only as good as the paper it's used on. Bleeding ink, floating stains and seepage through the page are just a few of the hazards that can befall even the most luxurious writing instrument. Fortunately, there are a number of companies dedicated to supplying a platform worthy of the pen. The London stationer Smythson, established in 1887, holds royal warrants for the queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Its Nile-blue "featherweight paper", copyrighted in 1916, is quite fine yet does not let ink bleed through. Smythson also makes lambskin notebooks with floppy bindings known as Panamas, just like the hats.

Crane, an American company founded in 1720, features 100 percent natural cotton fiber papers—a good alternative to trees. Among its top customers: England's late Queen Mother, who sent Crane invitations for her 100th birthday party in 2000. G. Lalo, the French stationer based in Paris since 1920 and owned by Clairefontaine, also offers papers made from different materials, including a thin, soft Velin paper; a "Verge" Paper with translucent parallel lines which looks as if it were handmade; and its original Straw paper, which despite its rough texture does not trip the fountain pen. Lamali, another French company, designs colorful woven notebooks made out of elegant handmade Nepalese or Indian papers, which are guaranteed fair trade. William Arthur, a young but growing American company, uses wood pulp, which makes the paper smooth, but claims that it promotes sustainable harvesting to help preserve the environment. For more contemporary designs, Vera Wang, maker of $30,000 wedding dresses, also crafts stylish writing paper marrying bright colors—peacock blue and chocolate brown, for instance—and gives clients the opportunity to customize stationery through its wide choice of colored papers and design monographs. It's paper suitable for marking all important occasions—provided you use a fountain pen.

Paper Fit for the Fanciest Fountain Pens | World