A GUIDE TO HANDMADE PAPER
One of the many reasons we love wedding paper design is because of the textural elements we can infuse into a design to create a tactile experience for the beholder. We've made it our mission to find the perfect raw materials to add to our designs, including handmade papers. Their beautiful raw edges and individuality are characterized by the hands by which they were made. Each blemish and imperfection reflects the inevitable flaws of human nature, and in our opinion, there's nothing more incredible. See our list of our favorite handmade paper vendors, as well as a comparison of each of their papers below!
silk & willow
Silk & Willow's handmade papers are the most textured and durable of the bunch. Their durability comes from the strength of the 100% recycled cotton rag fibers from t-shirt cuttings (how cool is that?). None of their papers are bleached or dyed and carry their own unique qualities as most handmade papers do. We have not personally tried this on an inkjet printer, but due to the thickness and texture, we don't believe it would be a good candidate. Silk & Willow paper is ethically made in India.
Arpa's papers are the most readily-available papers we've found. They're also the most keen to printing at home, due to their subtle texture and deckling. These papers come in a variety of colors, including grey, ivory, lavender, pale blue, pale pink, sage, and salmon, as well as a variety of European sizing (which is slightly unusual). Arpa's pulp mixture includes pure cotton and linen fibers that create such a soft, subtle texture and slight deckling. These papers are our go-to for larger quantities!
FABULOUS FANCY PANTS
Fabulous Fancy Pants handmade paper was one of the first we ever bought, and we've been in love ever since. Their paper is made of 100% cotton rag using cotton textile remnants. Each piece is handmade on an individual screen and carries the natural color and qualities that comes with the hand making process, including varying speckles from the fibers. Their paper carries a slight linen-like texture that is a design element in itself. We have been able to inkjet print on these papers, but only a few at a time before you have to clean the heads again. These are ideal for letterpress and calligraphy. Fabulous Fancy Pants does not offer dyed handmade papers.
OWL POST CALLIGRAPHY
When we first got our hands on Owl Post Calligraphy's handmade paper, we were in love. The deckled edging is to die for. Along with that, she creates a selection of beautiful colors that creates a uniqueness in itself. Owl Post's papers are also made of 100% cotton rag, and the texture is perfectly-subtle. We also must note that her envelopes come in a straight flap, which is unique from most other handmade envelopes. Owl Post will forever be one of our favorite vendors for beautiful colors, however stock is usually limited, so you have to be quick to purchase!
When we heard Tara Spencer would be creating her own line of handmade papers, we almost fell out of our chairs. We've followed Tara for quite some time and we've always been mesmerized by not only her designs, but her custom paper, and now it's available to the public! Each piece is so perfectly incredible with the delicate and wild deckled edges and a super soft and smooth texture. The best of all, her papers work well in almost any situation. Right now she carries mostly neutral colors, including off-white, sand, and black, and limited sizing options. Idyll Paper is handmade in Canada.
ON OUR RADAR
Farmette Press has been taking the fine art stationery world by storm since she announced her launch this past summer and she's sparked quite the conversation about her beautiful papers and letterpress services. Their wide variety of naturally dyed and perfectly imperfect papers look sooo dreamy! We haven't yet had the chance to get our hands on her papers, but we're looking for any good reason to!
We've been following Share Studios for quite some time, and we must say, her Instagram Stories are mesmerizing as she shows certain parts of the paper-making process, along with cute snaps of her two puppies! Stephanie creates many different kinds of papers with different fibers and dyes, and she even incorporates different elements such as gold leaf and feathers to make her paper even more beautiful and unique! We can't wait for the chance to order some of her gorgeous papers!
We hope this helps any of you in search of the perfect handmade paper for your project. If you'd like to know more about handmade paper, or any other wedding stationery related topic, feel free to reach out!