Paper is defined as
follows:- "A substance made in the form of thin
sheets or leaves from rags, straw, bark, wood or
other fibrous material for various uses."
Paper is made from
fibre that has been beaten until each individual
fibre is separated. This is then mixed with water
until it resembles a soup. A sieve-like screen is
passed through, and lifted from the liquid. As the
water drains away a sheet of matted fibre is left
upon the surface of the screen - this is paper.
Since AD 105 when Tsai
Lun (a Chinese credited with the invention of paper)
first employed this method, little has changed. The
fibre formation of paper is still accomplished by
basically, the same procedure. Genuine parchments,
vellums, rice paper and papyrus are not truly classed
It is important when
selecting paper to consider how it will affect the
image. The finest papers will complement, enhance and
bring out the best qualities in your subject. If you
experiment by printing the same plate with a number
of different papers, it will become apparent how
crucial your choice is.
paper suitable for etching needs to be very
versatile. It has to cope with multi-plate printing.
i.e. several passes though the press whilst damp and
under great pressure. Therefore, it must be
dimensionally stable, absorbent and extremely
durable. Other requirements include internal sizing,
acid free, buffered for longevity and light-fastness
(i.e. colour should not change when exposed to
The five most
important factors influencing choice of paper are
quality, surface, shade, strength and cost.
uncontrollable imperfections present in hand/mould
made paper, such as thickness, squareness, and
weight, it is excellent for all types of printmaking.
It takes ink well and softens evenly when wet.
However, please remember that the more delicate,
unsized waterleaf papers should be handled with care
when damp. The cheaper papers such as Bockingford,
Canaletto and even inexpensive drawing paper can be
used for proofing. The more expensive, heavier mould
made papers are usually reserved for the edition.
At R.K. Burt, as well
as the cheaper papers, we stock a number of papers
which possess qualities specifically designed for
etching as well as other printmaking techniques.
88 Mould made 100% cotton, smooth,
Arches Specially made for R.K. Burt.
Only available with a smooth surface. 100%
cotton . watermarked.
Arches Blanc mould made 100% cotton,
watermarked, medium tooth with a pronounced
grain. Also available in black.
Rives Blanc mould made 100% cotton,
watermarked, smoother and less sized than
Velin Arches. Also available in black and 3
German etching papers. Woodfree quality,
medium textured surface watermarked.
Available in white and natural shades.
German etching papers. Unsized Woodfree,
du Gue Mould made 85% cotton 15%
linen. patchy look, hand made in appearance,
large deckles, wet strength added.
Rosaspina 60% cotton mould made,
slight texture, watermarked. Available in 2
Tiepolo 100% cotton mould made, more
texture than Rosaspina.
Umbria Hand made 100% cotton, light
weight, 4 deckle edges, water marked.
Available in 2 shades
5 Mould made 50% cotton, very white,
available in 2 surfaces, watermarked.
Suitable for many printmaking techniques.
100% cotton mould made, watermarked
Available in 3 finishes - Satin, Velvet and
Textured - Satin is very smooth flat finish.
Velvet is very lightly textured medium tooth.
Available in various shades including the
renowned TP (Tom Phillips) soft
57 Union Street
London SE1 1SG
Tel: (44) (0) 171 407 6474
Fax: (44) (0) 171 403 3672