Growlygracepress's Blog

How do you buy paper for bookbinding?
January 4, 2020, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


I am going to start this post with a few assumptions 1. You read this blog regularly. 2. You are doing a bit of bookbinding. 3. You are making journals, albums and other bits of stationary.

I buy paper, store it, fold it, sew it and wrap a cover around it. Basic bookbinding stuff. But a key part of studying bookbinding at technical college was about dealing with paper merchants. Forever I have bought paper from a paper merchant. I was using a paper that I identified would meet my needs. It was a white 180gms SRA2 paper sold for offset printing. It came packed in 250 sheets. I also bought it at 300gms and used that for albums. I think the last time a bought it I bought 1000 sheets. I have used SRA1 paper but decided that the sheet size was too big for me to comfortably work with. The thing about SRA 2 is I can store it underneath my bench.

A couple of years ago I decided that I might have to change my paper for something a bit more up market. My skills and ideas were improving and I was making an object that could be considered more art object. So I started to look at other papers.

I think the papers I would be using a lot more are going to be paper sold for print making. I especially love Fabriano 5 which is a smooth white paper and it 50% cotton I have used it 300 gms and I have decided that it’s just a little bit too heavy because I am making smaller books and it’s not that happy and I would have to use a thicker thread to sew with. So I would be buying the next weight down and I think it’s 210 gms.

The other papers I love are Zerkall smooth paper for print making and an incredible Zerkall paper with a wavy laid lines it’s crazy.

My only problem I have with using these papers is that unless I have some one to buy the book I can’t justify just playing with it. It stops me binding as the paper is going to cost more than the goat skin. I am working on two books at the moment that have a good block made of a paper sold for botanic illustrations it’s really nice I actually bought it as a pad. I got two good size books and I had some waste left over and got 8 tiny little books I made because I could and I was putting off putting the leather covers on the two lovely books.

So think about buying paper sold for watercolour / print making. Buy online some of the art materials on line shops have some great deals. Consider buying pads of paper. You can buy a straight forward cartridge paper and that will serve you well.