The production of prints or the creation of an artist's book requires, above all, paper with the proper specifications.
Most papers for use in printmaking are manufactured in the traditional way, in rolls. Of 100% cotton or with a high percentage of this natural material, they are assembled without acid and are available with an alkaline base to guarantee a maximum life.
The classic papers are traditionally white, whether natural or not. Some types are also now offered in various neutral shades: vanilla, light ocher, grey and even black.
A description of the thickness of the paper and expressed in grams per square meter. Print makers prefer products with a good "hand," meaning a weight between 200 and 300 g/m² and sufficiently thick.
Various sizes are available, from 50 x 65 cm (Raisin size) or 56 x 76 cm (Jesus)... up to 120 x 160 cm. Note: books are printed on large-format sheets, folded and cut to form a "notebook."
Most papers used in printmaking are smooth or with a fine texture. Some have a different texture on each face.
A paper for printmaking must be very resistant. For this reason, it is also characterized by:
- Surface finish: to accept the print.
- Compression strength: to withstand the press.
- Resistance to time (the conservation norm ISO 9706 being the required standard).
- Resistance to moisture (during engraving, the paper is submerged in water for about an hour to render it soft).
- Lithography: various vellum, specialized engraving paper.
- Screen printing: paper manufactured without glues and which easily absorbs ink.
- Binding: Laid-finish paper ...
Don't forget the indispensable neutral blotting paper for drying prints.
- Line engraving: "edition," "engraving" or vellum papers. Acid-based techniques (such as etching) require a product devoid of wood fibers.