While I was in Little Rock for the pen show, I couldn’t resist picking up a pad of Life Typewriting Paper. It is not everyday in 2019 that you find paper specific to typewriting at your favorite pen and stationery shop so how could I pass it up?
The Life Typewriting Paper ($10) is A4 sized sheets in a 50 sheet top bound pad. The paper is a warm white. It’s not ivory or cream colored but its not a bright, arctic white either. The paper is also quite thin. It’s similar in weight to some of the Tomoe River paper or airmail paper.
Like a good typist, I inserted two sheets in my typewriters to protect my platens and tested the paper with four of my typewriters: three manual typewriters and one electric.
I can’t guarantee the newness of my ribbons on any of my typewriters or the enthusiasm with which I pound on my manual typewriters but the paper seemed to perform pretty well. My Privileg being the most finicky but I think that pink ribbon is on its last legs. The Adler, Webster and Smith-Corona all worked as expected.
For comparison purposes, I ran a piece of standard office laser printer paper through the typewriters as well, which is what I usually use for typing. It’s the big box office supply store 24# bond. I used two sheets as well. Obviously, the copy paper is a brighter white which provided more contrast to the typewriters with colored ribbon but I feel like the thicker, softer laser printer paper also absorbed more ink overall and created a cleaner read.
At the last minute, I decided to try this paper with pens and pencil on the off-hand chance that it would prove to exhibit interesting characteristics. I am glad I held off on finishing this review until I could thoroughly test the Life Typewriting Paper with pens. It had an unusual texture and the thinness of the paper reminded me of Tomoe River paper.
The natural clean white of the stock shows ink colors well and inks dry fairly quickly under normal circumstances. When I applied larger swashes of ink like the folded nibs, it did take longer to dry but that’s to be expected.
The paper did show sheen. I didn’t do extensive testing so I don’t know if the sheening is as good as Tomoe but you’ll some sheen. The texture is different. It’s hard to explain… it’s a bit toothier while still being smooth. It’s like difference between silk and satin. They are both smooth but in different ways.
In standard use, fountain pens did not bleed through, only the flex nib, felt tip and liquid ink showed signs of bleed through. The paper is thin like Tomoe River so there is showthrough with everything but pencil. Until Tomoe River though, this Life Typewriting Paper took pencil quite well.
The paper would be good for letter writing or other long form writing. The paper is thin enough to work well with A4 guide sheets.