Glossary of Paper Terms for Fountain Pen Users

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This glossary by B. H. Bentzman is included here with the author’s kind permission.

I have attempted to collect words concerning paper that might be of use to fountain pen users; and, in an attempt to emulate other scholars, I have as often as not plagiarized from other glossaries. This is a living glossary and I will consider any new inclusions, or for that matter deletions.


H
half sheets Single sheets for short letters and intended to be folded.
half stuff Partially prepared pulp.
handmade paper Obviously this is paper made by hand. Handmade paper begins by taking plant fiber (see also cellulose) or rags, mixing them with water and literally beating the mixture to a pulp. Using a mould covered with a flat rigid screen (Western) or a flexible screen (Oriental), the mould is covered with a deckle and dipped into a vat of wet pulp. The mould is shaken to evenly distribute the fibers and then the excess water is drained. The newly formed sheet of paper is removed from the mould and placed between layers of felt which are then pressed to remove the surplus of water. The paper is then hung to dry. It is important to note that although handmade paper is often very beautiful, it is also often impossible for fountain pen use. See also deckle, machine-made paper, mouldmade paper, pulp.
hemp An absolutely wonderful plant that has served humankind in many important ways, including medicinal. Its tough fibers were excellent for making ropes that served as rigging for sailing ships in the Age of Discovery. It has also been used to make a rough fabric. It concerns us here in that its fibers are also a source for coarse paper. It is one of the oldest paper fibers on record.
high alpha cellulose The highest quality of wood pulp, a very pure form that is believed to have the same archival qualities as cotton.
hot press This is a smooth finish given to the surface of a sheet of paper by passing it through hot metal plates or rollers. This term is frequently applied to watercolor paper, yet in many cases this paper can also accept a fountain pen. See also cold press.

The information in this glossary is as accurate as possible, but you should not take it as absolutely authoritative or complete. If you have additions or corrections to this page, please consider sharing them with us to improve the accuracy of our information.

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