Calligraphy Paper

The type of paper you decide on will affect the quality and visualization of your work. When selecting a paper to practice on, choose a white. smooth and not shiny type. For the finished work, choose a heavier paper, as the thinner papers will wrinkle and crease easily.


Brief History

Papyrus was a material made from the pith of the papyrus plant and was used in ancient Egypt, throughout the Mediteranian region and the Kingdom of Kush.

In the first century BCE and CE a rival to papyrus in the form of parchment was created from animal skins, which could be folded into quires from which book-form codices were produced.

In Europe papyrus was replaced by both parchment and vellum due to their higher durability in the moist northern climates.

By 1300 CE in Europe paper making moulds using metal wires was developed with watermarks being well established by that time.

While hemp and linen were the main source of material, cotton eventually took over

With the invention of the printing machine and it’s need for paper, caused many paper mills to enter into production

In 1844 the machinery and associated process to produce paper from wood pulp was invented by Charles Fenerty and F. G. Keller. This method ended 2000 years of pulped rags and started new era for the production of eventually all paper types.

Modern papermaking began in the early 19th century, with the development of the fourdinier machine which can produce a continuous roll of paper, rather than individual sheets



Paper Choices

There are many paper types suitable for calligraphy, Hot pressed. layout, photocopier, tracing, glassine and sketching, parchment and vellum with each type having certain characteristics, advantages, disadvantages and cost. You can also purchase suitable practice lined pads that are designed to help you keep your hand in the correct position when practicing with your pen.




Paper I use

Myself, I choose to use photocopy  paper for practice (which I line myself) and card stock for my finished product, my use of card stock is due to the colour, finish and the patterns that they can be found in.


It is advisable to use a paper of between 190gsm/90lb and 300gsm/140lb. If you want a wash background then maybe a coloured paper will be suitable, with some hand made papers are also being suitable for calligraphy.