Review: Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Paper

Original Crown Mill’s Classic Laid Paper is simply exquisite. Its lightly-ribbed texture, its weight, its matte finish, and its smoothness speak volumes of its quality. Yet it is also plain and understated, leaving it to the writer to adorn the page.

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper
Original Crown Mill Laid Paper

“Laid paper” refers to a type of paper that has a ribbed appearance. This used to result from the handmade process of manufacturing the paper. These days, this ribbed effect is simulated. In French, this type of paper is referred to as “vergé”, which is how it is referred to by other brands.

Original Crown Mill paper has been produced in Belgium since 1870 by Pelletier & Co.

These A5 pads come with 50 sheets of ribbed and watermarked paper. These could be seen clearly in the picture below, which shows one sheet held against sunlight.

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper shown against the light

The paper reviewed today are in both white and cream (see the picture below for a side by side comparison of both colors). Matching envelopes in packs of 25 are also available. Original Crown Mill also produces boxed sets of its Classic Laid line.

To make writing with straight lines easier, these pads come with a ruled guide sheet on the top page. The guide sheet could easily be seen through the paper.

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper with Guide Sheet

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper with guide sheet underneath

I could feel the texture of the paper when writing. I don’t find it distracting, but I could see how it could bother others. It feels different from writing on smooth, glossy paper such as Clairefontaine (which I also love).

For this review, I’ve written on both the white and cream paper with fountain pens of various sizes. Some feathering is apparent when using broader nibs and/or wetter inks. This seems more marked on the white paper than the cream paper. However, I must note that I wrote one line on the white paper first before writing the same line on the cream paper. This may have had the effect of drying the nib a bit, and hence making it appear as if there is less feathering on the cream paper.

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper Cream and White

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper - White

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper - Cream

There is some ghosting on the back of the page, and a little bit of bleedthrough could be seen with the writing done with broader nibs. I would still be able to write on both sides of the page, though I would likely stick to extra-fine to medium nibs if I want to do that.

Overall, Original Crown Mill’s Classic Laid paper is exceptional paper. Since it’s different from the paper I use for daily purposes – taking notes, doodling, journaling – writing on it somehow feels like an occasion. I use it mostly to write letters to friends, and this paper is a beautiful medium to convey one’s words.