Back in early July, one of our customers asked, on our Facebook Group, if the new 2021 B6 / A5 planners and new A5 notebooks would use the new Tomoe River Paper (52N) or the old TRP 52gsm. I assured everyone that our books would use the old paper as our printer had not mentioned any changes to the supply. This question sat with Andy and I, so we reached out to our printer to make sure we had the old paper. We were informed our books would actually be made with the new TRP 52N. Unfortunately, the paper distributer felt there was no real difference in the paper so they felt it unnecessary to communicate this change to our printer. As a TRP fan, this is something we felt was extremely important to mention as we want to be transparent with our customers in what we are selling and we also know you all KNOW paper! We requested a sample be express shipped to us so that we, ourselves, could make our own tests (we only tested 52N paper as we do not use their 68gsm paper). We wanted to take a moment to share our findings.
Although the paper felt slightly stiffer, it is still very fine, thin, smooth and slightly transparent but it does have less crinkle. Watercolor and fountain pens do not bleed through. We used many pens and highlighters for testing and they all performed the same on the new paper as the original. **Note: fountain pen enthusiasts, the amount of inks with varying colors, sheens and shading and the different pens with the different nibs are so immense, we are not equipped to test in that capacity. Please check out the Fountain Pen Network for more insight on varying ink and pen tests.
Our pen and ink tests included:
Variety of Daiso brush pens
Variety of Tombow Pens and Markers
Frixion Ball Clicker
Sakura Gelly Roll
Variety of Noodlers Ink
Zen Zoi Ink Cartridge
Variety of fountain pens used with above inks
Andy measured the paper thickness and weight and concluded this would increase the weight of our books by less than 3 grams. To give you an idea of what three grams feels like, a standard credit card weighs about 5 grams. So the change in the weight of paper in minimal. Our books are still very lightweight and portable.
In summary, I believe the most noticeable difference, personally speaking, is the “crinkle” factor. People either love or loathe the crinkle. I loved it but I still love the new paper. Wonderland 222 will continue to manufacture our books with TRP 52N. TRP being very thin, slightly transparent still remains. The ability to hold watercolor and many inks without bleed though while being ultra thin also is the same. Our printer pulled one of our books from the printing press so we were able to see the ink print on the new paper. We are thrilled with how the color printed on TRP 52N paper!
Please take a moment to read statement below from the Tomoe River English Facebook Page regarding their manufacturing process change:
“In order to maintain stable quality and supply of Tomoe River, Tomoegawa has recently changed its manufacturing process. We believe it's beneficial to our customers. We're committed to providing high quality papers to meet your needs. Background: In Dec. 2019,Tomoegawa has ended Tomoe River production at the old machinery and moved to new machinery since Apr. 2020. Product Name: Products made at the new machinery has suffix -N after the grammage (e.g. -52N). It can be distinguished from the old machinery products. Thickness: Typical thickness of 52g/m2 paper is 60u for both old and new machinery. There's no change. Ink bleed through: New machinery papers maintain low ink bleedthrough characteristic. In some type of oil and water based pens, new machinery papers show better performance. Ink feathering: New machinery papers maintain low ink feathering characteristic. Uniformity of pulp fiber orientation: New machinery papers have better uniformity of pulp fiber orientation than the old machinery papers. Friction pen erasability: Friction pen can be more easily erased on new papers because the coating surface of new papers is stronger than the previous one and less crinkly. Stiffness: New machinery papers are relatively stiffer than the old machinery papers. As a result, when a large number of sheet is accumulated, it tends to have larger thickness than the old machinery papers”
**Please note, we can try to answer your questions but we, too, are still getting a feel for the new paper. Any specific and or detailed product questions should be directed to Tomoegawa via their website or, for English speakers, you can submit questions through their Facebook Page.**
Unfortunately, this change was out of our control as it is a manufacturing process change coming from Tomoegawa. With that said, we still love this paper and stand behind its supreme quality.
Liisa and Andy
This is good news to me. Though saddened by the discontinuation of the original TRP 52 and 68 gsm this new 52N paper looks promising and acceptable to most. Of course, this is all in the hand of the end-user and each have their own points of view. Regardless I look forward to trying out your new journals when they come out.