Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: @ResorShop 014. Kraft Paper Midori Traveler’s Notebook Refill

A little while ago, my pal and reader Stephen contacted me to inform me he had discovered the Kraft Paper refill for the Traveler's Notebook. He said I also had to get one to test it with stub and broader nibs. A reader request that meant I had to make a purchase of something I wanted? Done. 
Midori Kraft Refill & Travel Notebook in Traveler's Notebook
A Midori Kraft Refill notebook (left) and a 2012 Trip Traveler's Notebook (right) in a Midori Traveler's Notebook.

Made in Japan
Size: 4.5" x  8.5"
Color: Brown
Ruling: Blank
Sheet Count: 64 pages
Price: $8.00USD
Where to buy: Rësor Shop


The Kraft Paper refill for the Midori Traveler's Notebook looks quite simple. It has a plain brown kraft cover with a lighter binding that wraps around the front and back cover. Inside, the kraft paper is a medium brown. Not a whole lot to describe here!


I love the feel of kraft paper - it's like a thinner brown paper bag. It instantly makes me feel creative and clever (I have no idea why). It is somewhat textured, but not like rough card stock, and it's just fun to do things like flip the pages and imagine what you want to do to it. Does that sound weird? ... Certainly. But that's what you are supposed to do with it. Imagine all the things you want to do to it. 

The things I wanted to do to it was test it with fountain pens, because that's what Stephen suggested I do with it. The paper does not seem to be coated so I expected relatively normal drying times. I was also hoping for low feathering. Fine nibs and dry inks perform quite well - they dry between 10 - 20 seconds and don't smudge thereafter. They do not bleed or show through the page. They definitely do not feather on the page. Medium to broad nibs and wetter inks dry between 30 - 60 seconds. Very, very wet inks may smudge but this is not unusual.
Kraft Refill Drying Times
I was surprised to find that, given that there is no real coating on the paper, the Pilot Parallel 6.0mm nib inked with Sailor Grenade presented its green sheen on this page. This ink shows its gorgeous greenish sheen when combined with the right paper, which is usually paper that has a coating, in which case the ink can saturated a spot on the page. Furthermore, the lines were all sharp and crisp.
Midori Kraft Refill Close Up
There was very minimal show through, even with wet nibs, and no bleed through whatsoever. Some inks even presented their outlines.
Midori Kraft Scan
Up to this point, the paper seemed to be completely fountain pen friendly - no bleed through, no show through, no feathering, and inks presented their outlines and sheens. The only strange thing I noticed was on certain pages, near the binding on the inside of the page, occasionally there would be small amounts of feathering with wet nibs. It didn't happen on the outside of the pages. So, there you have it. Perhaps it's this one notebook. It's almost completely fountain pen friendly. Perhaps 98%. I'll still get another in a heartbeat because I love kraft paper and all the pros outweigh this one thing easily.
Midori Kraft Refill Writing Samples
Look closely at the Waterman 52 writing - see that wicked sheen? You can also see the feathering I'm referring to in the scribble of this ink sample on the left.
Rësor Shop suggests using monotone pens, pencils, and white pencils in the Kraft notebook. They also say it's perfect for scrap booking and mounting photos and souvenirs of your travels. I agree with all these, but it's pretty well-rounded for all uses.

  • Instantly makes you creative and cool.
  • Kraft paper is fun to use for many purposes.
  • Paper can tolerate gel pens, pencils, ball points, and fountain pens.
  • Almost completely fountain pen friendly paper.
    • No bleed through.
    • Very minimal show through.
    • Inks present their sheen.
    • Some inks will present their outlines.
Kraft Refill Roman Calligraphy
Uhhh.... there is an error in this quote somewhere. Also, I was still practicing at this point so forgive the hideousness, please.
  • Close to the binding on the inside of some pages, wet nibs may feather.

If you have a Midori Traveler's Notebook, I would suggest you get a Kraft Paper refill - whether you want to scrapbook, doodle, scribble, or practice your calligraphy. In fact, even if you don't have one, you can enjoy this refill because it's still enjoyable. It's really cool paper to use and it tolerates fountain pens very well - bringing out some of the best qualities of ink! You may experience the occasional feathering, but it's kraft paper - it's part of the fun anyway. 

Another Review To Float Your Boat
Juan Estey


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