An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

18 January 2013

Onion skin love (a review)

I have always loved onion skin. Its classic persona and its sheer age (it's been around for a very long time) truly appeals to me. And although some newer lightweight papers like the legendary and very elusive Tomoe River Paper seem to have more oomph, I say a classic becomes and remains a classic for a reason.

One evening I rummaged through my old paper stash and found two reams of what is labelled Superfine Onion Skin Paper.

The label on the pack says Transword Paper. I am assuming that is the name of the manufacturer. It is distributed by the Kyota Paper and Printing Corporation, and retailed by National Bookstore. I think I purchased this sometime in 2010.

This is US Letter size. One ream (500 sheets) cost 123.50 Philippine Pesos, which converts to roughly 3 US Dollars.

I have always used onion skin, mostly as carbon copies of my daily typewritten letters to my son, but I have never used a fountain pen on this particular paper before. So I decided to try using my fountain pens on it, and the results were quite nice.

As onion skin paper goes, this is very thin and light. This Superfine Onion Skin is relatively smooth to the touch, and has just the faintest hint of texture. It's not as smooth as Substance 24 paper, though.

The color is a little bit off-white. It is neither cream nor ivory. It is brighter than the ivory 85g Clairefontaine paper.

Here are some writing samples.

As you can see, there is no feathering on this paper! The ink actually does just tend to pool, which can be evident from the way the lines dry, but that's okay. More pooling means more enhanced shading.

However, despite the pooling, the shading is more subtle on this paper than on, say, the 85g Clairefontaine paper, but I can't expect too much from a paper that's labeled Substance 8!

Here is the back side of the paper. There is absolutely no bleed-through, which I like.

I like it, actually. In fact, I like it so much that I had a friend from a printing press make a perfect-bound notebook for me using this paper. Not too thick, or it will look like a Bible, and not too thin that it flops around. This little notebook contains about half a ream. It's covered in tagboard material.

Here is how the binding looks. It's done well.

And the pages lay flat when the notebook is opened, too. I suppose because the paper is so floppy, it will indeed tend to lie flat.

I cannot write properly without ruled paper so I will just use lined paper underneath the page as I write.

I had it cut down to 6.25 inches wide by 9.25 inches wide, the same size as my notebook of choice the Quo Vadis Habana A5, so that when I'm done writing on this volume, I can stand it up alongside the other volumes and the arrangement will look orderly.

Not bad! I need to get more of this paper.


Anonymous Kristina R. Facelo said...

I was searching for suppliers of tomoe river paper in the phils when i came upon your blog post. Huh. I totally forgot about this paper! My lola used to work as a secretary in the phil navy, and she always had reams of this to use when she was typing. I hope national bookstore still has this. Thanks for the cool post.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Atty. Fred said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Atty. Fred said...

Unfortunately, NBS is no longer selling this. Any idea where I can get a ream? Office Warehouse sells per 10pcs and it costs about 4-5x more

9:57 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

What?! Oh, my, that is very expensive. How very unfortunate that NBS has stopped carrying this. I will ask NBS if they still have some old stocks available in their storage that they can sell.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Atty. Fred said...

Thanks for the reply. But it appears that I mistakenly thought that this is the same as bible paper. Onionskin nowadays is rare, but bible paper seems to be even rarer...sigh. You mentioned Tomoe River Paper, would you consider it as a good alternative to bible paper? What I am actually looking for is one that is very thin but hardly bleeds through during printing, and the best example is that of the bible. Thanks. I am still drooling over the idea of a having a lightweight, pocket size 1k pages of printed notes.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Atty. Fred said...

But I have to say, onionskin is quite pleasing to the eyes; the cream or off-white-ish color looks elegant. The thickness and the texture are perfect as well. If only it is more opaque and friendly to double-sided printing...

1:02 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Tomoe River Paper is so lovely! Some Japanese stores that use Tomoe River Paper even rever to it as Bible paper. However, I am not aware exactly what kind of paper Bibles use.

There is a Tomoe River Paper notebook that has about 500 sheets, made by Nanami Paper. And also another one made by Taroko, and the latest one to enter the market is the Hippo Noto notebook. All use Tomoe River Paper in stadrad sizes (A5 and A6), and all are so glorious!

1:56 PM  

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