Do you need blotter paper?

A few weeks ago, when I ordered the Esterbrook x Bungubox Kachofugetsu Flower Fountain Pen, Esterbrook included a set of their Esterbrook Nature Blotter Paper ($13.95) as a free gift with purchase. Since blotter paper isn’t altogether a commonly used item these days, I thought today I’d talk a little about blotter paper in general.

First off, what is blotter paper? Blotter paper is a super absorbent sheet of paper. It is commonly used to “blot” up extra ink or hand oils that may get on your page as you write. You could use a piece of blotter paper to remove excess ink, or put it between the pages of an notebook to prevent transfer to the back of the previous sheet. You could also use it as a protective sheet behind your paper in case of bleed through.

Do you need any specific paper? No! As a rule, you want something that’s more absorbent than the paper you’re writing on. That super thin Tomoe River is not the droid paper you’re looking for. The Esterbrook pages feel like porous cardstock. Ana has some swanky Vintage Blotter Paper ($5 per set of 5 sheets) in the shop. And if it’s easier to raid the kids’ craft supplies a piece of regular old construction paper will do!

Do you have to use blotter paper? Absolutely not. Mostly I think about blotter paper harkening back to a time where folks were using ink pots and quills and there could be a lot of splotches or areas of excess ink. Today’s modern fountain pen inks dry fairly quickly, particularly if you’re using smaller nibs. Honestly it’s something to think about if you find your inks smearing on your paper, or you need to close the notebook fairly quickly and you’re getting transfer at the back of your pages.

The single biggest place where I use blotter paper is in my Crossfield Journal ($24.00). That’s one of the notebooks that I use for my ink swatching, and when I use the eyedropper to lay down those big inkblots, I place a blotter sheet behind the page so I don’t bleed through to the next one. It keeps the next page shiny and ready to go for any subsequent ink swatches.

So that’s a little about blotter paper!

(P.S. For those who were interested in what color I chose for the new pen, it was KWZ Raspberry!)

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I have found that flower pressing paper works great as blotter paper and it’s fairly inexpensive. I’ve had one sheet in my Hobonichi for almost 2 years now and it’s still going.

  2. I keep blotter paper in my daily and writing journals so I don’t have to worry about transferring FP ink from page to page. Can just put down the blotter paper (carefully) and shut the journal when I am done–no mess. Love it! I also have blotter paper nearby when I am writing letters because I love to use my FPs and good paper–which doesn’t always dry quickly. Can use it to lay your hand on so as not to add finger grease or hand moisture…or to not smear what you just wrote by holding the paper down with your other hand. Blotter paper is fantastic to have around! Been a staple of mine for a couple of decades. 🙂

  3. I just bought some pink Herbin sheets which is likely to last me the rest of my life, but I really like those Nature designs.

  4. Im with Kate and always have it around. I bought a pack from Herbin and will never need to purchase more. I keep a sheet in my planner so i dont transfer ink to facing pages and also at my desk to blot a letter before flipping to the verso side.

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