Papers for art

Educational, Paper -

Papers for art

Papers of various types are by far the most commonly used support for art works.

The main attributes that determine the quality of a paper used as a support for art work are fibre type, pH, and the manufacturing process used.

All paper is made from cellulose, but the type of cellulose can make a huge difference. The longest lasting (strongest) papers are made from plant fibres high in cellulose and with the longest length. Papers can be made from many different fibres but, most papers for artists’ use are made from either wood pulp, cotton, or some other plant fibres such as flax (linen), the bark of various trees, jute, or a myriad of other natural materials.

The manufacturing method used to make paper affects the longevity, strength and stability of the sheet. pH and the strength of the fibre used depends on the way in which the raw materials are processed from pulp to a final sheet.

  • Handmade papers are made the same way they have been made for centuries. Using a screen dipped into a vat of pulp. These papers are usually a good quality as there is little point in using this expensive method of manufacture to produce inferior product.
  • Mold made papers are produced on a cylinder mold machine. Normally of high quality. Most 100% cotton artists’ papers are made on a cylinder mold machine.
  • Machine made papers are made on a Fourdrinier machine. This method encompasses most of the papers used for sketching and practise works. These papers can be of vastly differing qualities.

When purchasing papers for artistic use it is important to consider the type of media, the quantity of said media being applied, will it be a finished artwork or is it a sketch or study? If it is to be a finished piece then stronger papers made from more durable fibres are recommended. It should be acid-free, as acidic papers are already degrading from the point of manufacture. It should be heavy enough to support the media applied to it without deformation.

Here at Artsupplies.co.nz we have access to a huge range of quality papers for artistic use. From acid-free drawing and sketching paper and pads, coloured papers for craft or pastel work to beautiful heavy weight, 100% cotton papers suitable for most media. Please don’t hesitate to enquire!