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.


W
waterleaf This is paper that has no sizing, or very little. The paper is extremely absorbent. Blotting paper is often made of waterleaf.
watermark This is a design that has been sewn into the papermaking screen with wire. The paper formed over this very slightly raised surface is thinner. When the paper is held up to a light the design becomes apparent. The watermark was originally used to identify the type of paper and its maker. The papermakers of Fabriano claim it as their innovation. It is a subtle art that can be exquisite and sophisticated. Don't let it sneak past you, look for the watermark. It is usually found in only the better papers.
wood wulp Paper pulp made from wood. Generally of an inferior quality to sulphite pulp, which is also made from wood. See also sulphite pulp.
wove In papermaking this is the wire mesh covering for a mould. Very fine wires are arranged in an appearance similar to woven fabric. It results in no detectable pattern of itself in the surface of the paper. See also laid.
wove paper This is paper which shows no laid lines. Such paper is smoother than laid and might be the paper of choice of those who use extra fine or italic nibs. See also laid lines, laid papers.

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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