Top tips when choosing printmaking paper

Top tips when choosing printmaking paper

How do I choose which is the best printmaking paper to use? With so many papers on offer, here is some advice to help you narrow it down.

Printmaking paper at Pegasus Art

In common with other artists who love beautiful paper, printmakers have their own favourites. Their choices are driven by the processes they use, and the surface effect they aim to achieve. Some papers are better for relief printing techniques such as lino or letterpress, some for silkscreen. Just as with specialist papers for other media, printmaking papers have different qualities of absorbency, finish, size and weight. There are many to choose from, at all sorts of prices, and it can be confusing when you are just beginning, or want to experiment.

At Pegasus Art we stock a range of papers in sizes from 56 x 76cm up to 78 x 106cm, allowing for large scale prints. The papers are acid free, some have two or four deckled edges, and a selection of tones are available, including black.

These are some highlights from our extensive range:

Papers suitable for etching, silkscreen and letterpress printing include:

BFK Rives Blanc: 56 x 76cm, a 100% cotton paper at £5.95 per sheet.

Fabriano Rosaspina: 70 x 100cm,  a 60% cotton paper in white (Bianco) or ivory (Avoria). At an amazing £4.03 per sheet, this represents really good value.

The pretty town of Fabriano in the Marche region where they have been making paper since 1264. Even Leonardo da Vinci was a fan!

Papers for etching, letterpress and oil-based silkscreen include:

Hahnemuhle Etching paper: 78 x 106cm, a white  acid-free cellulose pulp paper at £6.12 per sheet. This is our biggest paper.

Arches 88: 56 x 76cm, a100% cotton paper designed for oil-based silkscreen with 4 deckle edges at £6.99 per sheet.

Beautiful and versatile, Somerset papers have a choice of tones and textures, and are suitable for a range of printmaking techniques including etching, silkscreen, letterpress and other relief methods.

Somerset Satin: 56 x 76cm, White and Soft White paper with a smooth finish at £4.19 per sheet.

Somerset Velvet: 56 x 76cm, Soft White, Buff, Grey and Black papers with a soft velvety surface at £3.99 (Buff and Grey), £4.19 (Soft White) per sheet and £6.02 (Black) per sheet.

These papers are just a selection of the range we have, which includes exquisite papers from Japan, and Himalayan plant fibre papers. Printmaking papers are often chosen for drawing and pastel work, where surface texture and subtle tone are required to enhance the finished piece.

The Japanese Paper Place papers. For a direct link to their website, click here.

Khadi papers from India and Nepal. For a direct link to their website, click here.

At Pegasus Art we specialise in art paper and have developed a comprehensive and diverse range to give you a fabulous choice whatever medium you work with. If you need any further information about our printmaking paper please contact our office on 01453 886560 and speak to one of our artist staff.