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The sad ending of Tomoe River Paper? Alternative Fountain pen friendly papers to try next.


 

Tomoe river paper is a specialty paper loved by many fountain pen enthusiasts all over the world for its lightweight structure and ability to handle a variety of ink and paints very well.

Rumors of the paper no longer being made were started when Tomoegawa (the creators) announced in December 2019 that they had officially ended production of the paper at the old machinery.

A few months later they released a statement to their followers that the paper will be slightly different but promised it would have the same high performance as the original paper. However reviews of the new paper were mixed with some customers complaining that the new paper did not handle bleed through as well as being a lot rougher in texture.

Finally in September 2020 Tomoegawa made public that a limited edition version namely the ‘new machine papers’ were to be released. As of today nothing else has been officially released from the company leading to many panic buying the paper in fear that no more will be produced.

Timeline of events

December 2019 – Tomoegawa ended production at the old machinery.

April 2020 - New version of the paper being produced. Same properties being promised – some customers not happy about the change.

Septemeber 2020 – limited edition papers promised and no other ‘official’ news since then.

 

Here’s where it gets juicy

Among the fountain pen community there has been rumors that Tomoe river paper is in fact NOT being discontinued but just outsourced to a different company. It is said that the company is studying to continue supplying the speciality paper just under a new operation. 

 

What does this mean for you?

 

Although there is promise of the paper still being produced it still very speculative and indeed the production could be halted altogether if an alternative method of making the paper is not found. It may be sad or even quite frustrating to a lot of Tomoe River fans who have throughout the years grown accustomed to using the paper in their journals or planners but all the better to start exploring alternatives.

 

Below I have compiled an extensive list of recommended papers/ notebooks that use paper which is fountain pen friendly. I have been careful to only recommend products that are readily available and so it does not include many but is a good starting point if you are interested in trying something new.

*Exciting news… We will soon be stocking some of the lovely brands of notebooks mentioned so make sure you are signed up to our newsletter so you don’t miss out!*

  • Yamamoto Cosmo Air Light Notebook –

 Hailed to be a close contender in similarity to Tomoe River this paper is said to be ideal for fountain pen colour ink shading and sheening but has a longer dry time. The Cosmo air light paper is said to be excellent for printing and the texture is not excessively smooth providing a pleasant writing experience.

(Currently available in A5 and A4 size)

Made in Japan

 

  • Lamy Paper Booklets –

These booklets come as a set of 3. The paper used is lightweight yet high quality at 90 gsm thick which make them perfect for fountain pens as there is no feathering or bleed through.

(Currently available in A5 and A6 size)

Made in Gerrmany

 

  • Clairefontaine ‘Age Bag’ Clothbound Notebook –

Available as squared, lined or blank paper these notebooks have been praised for its bright white paper being able to effortlessly handle ink with little feathering and no bleedthrough. It is also worth noting that these booklets come with 192 pages in each making them good value for money as well being available in a choice of 10 beautiful colours.

(Currently available in A5 and A4 size)

 

  • Stalogy-

The paper in these notebooks have a slightly heavier gsm than Tomoe River, is not as smooth but is still lightweight and very good at handling a variety of inks and paints. Loved for its lovely feint grid lines which provides a nice canvas for bullet journaling the company are also releasing blank and dotted versions this year.

(Currently available in B6, A5 and A4 size)

Made in Japan

 

  • Hp Printer paper-

The Premium 32lb/ 120 gsm option is a lovely heavyweight paper that is bright white in colour, has a super smooth surface and is acid free which prevents yellowing of the pages over time. Great option if you just want sheets of paper for handwriting practice with your fountain pens or you could add these to a ring binder to make them portable.

 

  • Life Noble notebooks –

Premium grade paper resistant to fading, ink feathering and bleeding. Not only are these notebooks great for fountain pen users the covers have a lovely vintage design and are available as blank or ruled pages.

(Currently available in B6, B5, B7, A5 and A4 size)

Made in Japan

 

What are your thoughts on the whole Tomoe River ending saga? Are you a sad to see it go? Will you be trying any of the alternatives? Or maybe you have a recommendation that I have missed out? Have your say in the comments below!

 Our exclusive dashboards using Tomoe River Paper:

https://brookeevahprints.com/collections/tomoe-river-paper-dashboards

 Full statement of the future of Tomoe River paper:

https://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens/comments/nvslqq/official_response_from_tomoegawa_regarding_the/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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