Some people like a little feedback from their paper when they write, while others prefer a very smooth writing experience. If you are one of the latter and have never used Clairefontaine Triomphe paper, that needs to change immediately. To say that this paper is smooth would be a big understatement. But other than being smooth, does it have anything else going for it? Let’s take a close look at Clairefontaine Triomphe paper today and see what it’s like.
As far as I know, Clairefontaine Triomphe is only sold in pads, so the first time you see yours it will look something like this:The pad isn’t very fancy, but at the same time it certainly doesn’t feel cheap and flimsy. The paper is a nice, bright white and comes either blank or lined. This paper is made for letter writing, so don’t expect to find it in a notebook. If you do want a Clairefontaine notebook, I’d suggest you consider the Basic Clothbound.
Let’s look at a pad of Clairefontaine Triomphe and see some of the details
- Pages: 50
- Paper Weight: 90gsm
- Binding: Glue (notepad)
- Page Style: Lined (8mm), Blank
- Size: A4, A5
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: Average
- Shading: High
- Bleeding: Very Low
- Ghosting: Average
- Feathering: Very Low
- Dry Time: Average
- Blank paper comes with a lined guide sheet
- Bright white color
- Matching envelopes are available
Since this paper does not come in notebooks, it is only available as a notepad. With all notepads, you’ll eventually need to remove the paper. The glue used to hold this pad together is very flexible and soft, making it very easy to remove each piece of paper from the pad. There aren’t many other features to discuss other than how the paper performs. With that in mind, let’s try it out!
As I mentioned, this paper is incredibly smooth. For some people, it may be too smooth, but I personally really enjoy writing on it. Nibs glide across it with little to no resistance. Even extra fine nibs, which I sometimes find a little too scratchy, feel fantastic on it.
How does it handle ink? Very well! It has slightly faster dry times and lower sheen than many fountain pen friendly papers, but that’s exactly what you want when writing letters so that your ink doesn’t smear. For such fast dry times, it still has fantastic shading. I didn’t see any feathering or bleed-through and ghosting is low enough that most people will be fine writing on both sides of a sheet. This is partly due to the paper weight, which is 90gsm. This slightly heavier than average paper also means the paper has a more substantial feel, which the recipient of your letters may notice.Ink also looks great on this paper. It has what I think of as a higher contrast, which means dark parts of ink look darker and light parts of ink look lighter. This really accentuates any shading that your ink may have and also makes colors pop. It may have something to do with the bright whiteness of this paper, but it also has to do with the qualities of the paper itself.
If you write a lot of letters, this is a great paper option. Not only is it a pleasure to write on, but it makes your writing (or at least the ink you use) look very nice. With a hint of sheen, great shading and more contrast than many papers, inks look fantastic. While you can get many different papers for letter writing, few (or maybe even none) are as smooth as this paper. Writing on it is an experience unto itself, so if you’re a fan of smooth papers, this should be a must-try.
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
- Sheen (higher is better)
- Shading (higher is better)
- Bleeding (higher is better)
- Ghosting (higher is better)
- Feathering (higher is better)
- Dry Time (higher is better)
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Extremely smooth, handles ink well and makes it look great
Cons: Limited sizes and formats, maybe too smooth for some
Value Rating: 3.71 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.10
Who this paper is for: Anyone who likes smooth paper and writes letters