Rhodia No. 16 Block Notepad review7 January 2014
Rhodia is pretty much standard issue for anyone who takes an interest in fountain pens. In fact, since I wrote this review and queued it up, Gourmet Pens and A Fool With A Pen both published much better reviews of the same paper. So much better, in fact, that I was going to pull this one. But as you can see, I didn’t. It got me thinking about what the point of this little website is when there are so many other wonderful pen sites out there. And the point is: I love pens, paper, pencils, inks (especially inks, ironically, since they don’t get a mention in the site’s name) and I want to share that with anyone who’s interested (and if I’m honest and I’ve got you in a corner, with anyone who isn’t). And this site, I’ve realised, is about that interest, the feel of it all, and about creating with these tools. That’s why my ink reviews are more about the colour and feel of the ink than about the dry times and featheringness. It’s why the Friday pictures, even if they aren’t always too fantastic, are an important part of what Pens! Paper! Pencils! is about.
So on with my review, which is short on detail but, I hope, shows how much I love this paper.
There is a very good reason why Rhodia paper is standard issue for fountain pen geeks: the paper is fantastic and extremely kind to fountain pen ink. The pictures below show just how good. No feathering and only the Sharpie bled (or even showed) through. I haven’t met a piece of paper yet that can stand up to a Sharpie.
The No. 16 is A5 sized (148mm x 210mm) and is available in lined (with margin), plain, squared or dotted, with a black or classic Rhodia orange cover. All kinds of other sizes are available. The paper is perforated along the top edge and tears off fairly reliably. The paper (80g) is a brilliant white and shows off ink colours beautifully. It shows off inks so well I feel the need to say it again: Rhodia paper shows off ink colours beautifully.
The only downside, and I suppose it’s a consequence of whatever is done to the paper that makes it so resistant to feathering and bleed-through, is longer than usual dry times. Not particularly excessive but long enough to punish a careless palm.
Rhodia paper is the paper I compare all other paper to. No feathering, virtually no show-through, hardly ever any bleed-through. It’s the one to beat.