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.

rag content The amount of rag fibers in a sheet of paper, assuming the paper has any rag content at all. Few papers are made from rags these days, but the term has been used synonymously for cotton, even though that cotton had never seen life as a fabric.
rag paper The earliest papers were made from old rags (fabric). Even today the highest quality papers are made, if not from rags, at least from linters. See also linters.
recycled paper This is used paper that is cooked in chemicals to remove the ink and return it to pulp for the making of new paper. It is generally of an inferior quality, but it is also less expensive and preserves our natural resource of trees. See also downcycling.
rice paper First of all, it is not made from rice. It is a thin paper, if one could call this paper at all, made in Asia by slicing the pith of certain plants and pressing them. However, rice starch is used to size papers such as gampi, kozo, and mitsumata.
rough This is a heavily textured surface on paper.
royal A type of writing paper 19"×24".

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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