Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: @PaperMillStore Onion Skin Paper

This rather intoxicating paper was sent to me to try out by Rachel - thank you so very much Rachel! Naturally, I'm now hooked. But I'm glad, because I can now share my affections across more crinkly papers!
Onion Skin Paper - Writing Samples

Size: 8 1/2" x 11"
Color: White
Ruling: Blank
Weight: 9lb
Sheet Count: Buy in sample packs of seven sheets, reams of 500 sheets, or cartons of 5,000 sheets.
Price: $24.97 for 500 sheets
Where to buy: The Paper Mill Store


This onion skin paper at first glance appears to be regular paper. If you get close and look at an individual sheet, you quickly realize it's a lot thinner than regular copier paper is. Its translucency makes you think of onion skin, there's no doubt about that. 


Oh my god. This stuff is... just... oh man. You already know how I feel about Tomoe River paper. And if you don't, I'll tell you: I love it. I'm crazy about it because I looooove crinkly paper. I love all things crinkly. I love to pull sheets of this onion skin paper out of the folder I store it in and listen to it crinkle. Then I love to lie it flat on my desk and run my fingers along it. This is getting kinky. You get the picture. I love its crinkle. It crinkles even when it hasn't been written on. It also flops around a lot, and bends and folds easily, so you must be careful with it and treat it kindly, and be gentle with it. Listen to that crinkle...

As for its ink performance? Spectacular. It is definitely fountain pen friendly. I think show through is a given. If you weren't expecting show through on something called onion skin paper, you're a crazy person. (But then, you're reading a stationery blog, so you might be a crazy person anyway.)
Onion Skin Paper - Show Through
It was hard to figure out what was bleed through and what was show through but I think I managed - bleed through was very minimal and only happened in the spots where ink had pooled quite a bit or was very wet. Feathering? Nada. And I tested a lot of pens and a lot of inks on here. Overall? Definitely fountain pen friendly.
Onion Skin Paper - Writing Sample
Onion Skin Paper - Back of Page
Onion Skin Paper Broad Nib and Flex Nib
Onion Skin Paper - Back of Page
Dry times are a little longer than average for wetter inks and nibs because there isn't much paper absorbency - as in, there's nowhere for the ink to go. Dry inks and broad nibs that spread the ink out dried pretty quickly though.
Onion Skin Paper - Drying Times
The one thing I always check for when I'm reviewing paper is whether or not it shows off an ink's sheen. I'm happy to report the sheen can be seen on this paper! Whew. 
Onion Skin Paper - Sheen
Onion Skin Paper - Paper Mill Store - Sheen
You can only write on one side of each page, but the paper is so thin that it doesn't really feel like you're using much paper. Ink looks awesome on this paper - sharp, crisp, and it pops off the page. It's really awesome. Nibs with baby butt will be annoying on this paper because it's fairly smooth - although not like Rhodia/Clairefontaine - and it takes some work to get them going.
This isn't "real" onion skin paper - like the vintage type. It doesn't have that textured vintage look that the real stuff has, but it's pretty darned awesome. And this is pretty affordable and behaves very nicely, so I cannot complain. It is not watermarked. 

  • Fountain pen friendly - no feathering!
  • Crinkly, lovely writing experience.
  • Feels like tracing paper.
  • Can be bent/dog eared easily.

YES. If you are at all interested in crinkly paper, if you like a full journal because of the way it feels and sounds (in other words, the crinkles), if you are curious about onion skin paper, I highly recommend you try this onion skin paper! It's so much fun to use! Crack out those fountain pens and inks and go to town - it's a BLAST. 


Bob McConnell said...

Gee I couldn't really pick up from reading the story whether you like this paper or not :)...Amazing to me something so thin is fountain pen friendly. Longer dry times would make sense if the ink is not soaking in (No feathering is the result I believe)...Thanks for the review, may pick me up a ream. Let's see 500 sheets should last me about 500 weeks..

Michel_de_Montreal said...

Isn't it amazing! Gotta love onion paper :-)

Estivalia said...

That is amazing! My favorite characteristic from inks is sheen and it looks gorgeous here. In my experience, sheen is more prominent in less-absorbent papers (as in, the sheen pools over the paper) so it seems to me that it makes sense that this paper does wonders with it. Thanks for the review! :)

Azizah Asgarali said...

I'm hooked!

Azizah Asgarali said...

LOL!! I'll have to be more clear next time ;) You could always split a ream with someone :) I can totally deal with long drying times - none of that stuff bothers me. I just hate feathering.

Azizah Asgarali said...

My pleasure! Yes - absolutely - papers that don't absorb ink are the best for sheens. This stuff is pretty great. It's so much fun to write on and ink just pops off the page.

Julie (O-kami) said...

Loving the crinkly paper! What a great review and your fancy handwriting is awesome!

Margana said...

Onion skin is fun stuff. Nice job of displaying what it can do. Which
inks did you use to demonstrate sheen? The first one is truly beautiful.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Loving it. I'm totally hooked! Thank you - that one is Sailor Jentle Sky High. Spectacular sheen on that ink. I adore it.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thank youuuuuu!

Margana said...

Do you think it is the best Sailor for that property from the current offering?

Azizah Asgarali said...

This one and the Jentle Grenade have the best sheen, in my opinion. Do you have them/have you tried them?

Margana said...

Good to know. They aren't in my inventory and I haven't tried them yet. Soon...

todayiam said...

Azizah, what inks are those in the 'Sailer' image, and the 'Pilot' image directly below? That red/blue shift in color is the most otherworldly property these eyes have ever seen in an ink. The red by itself would be glorious, as would be the blue--it is uncanny they are one and the same.

And for the men, could you please give a non-graphic explanation of the nib affliction "baby butt" (I'm about to eat lunch)? I have not encountered this terminology in Mont Blanc's literature :>).

ypsilanti said...

Fantastic review, Azizah! (Rachel here.) I knew you'd adore this paper. Somebody needs to make notebooks with this stuff, right? Jesse Aston, are you listening?

Azizah Asgarali said...

Hi Rachel :D Thank you thank you for getting me hooked :D I have to get working on my Tomoe vs. Onion Skin comparison :) YES. Holy smokes. I can only imagine a fat notebook full of this stuff... *wipes drool*

Azizah Asgarali said...

Sky High's sheen is easier to pick up - it shows up on more paper, more easily. But Kon Peki is a more classic deep blue. Most people would probably think "they're both blue", which they are, but I'd have to own both. Sky High shows up a lot lighter than Kon Peki does when it's not in such a wet pen.

Azizah Asgarali said...

The Sailor is Sailor's Jentle Sky High, and the Pilot is Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki. I agree - the sheen is unbelievable. I am blown away by inks with this property and I simply adore paper that highlights it.

LOL!! As for baby butt, I would like to refer you to Richard Binder's glossary here - It should be close to the top with a non-graphic image to help you understand what it is :)

todayiam said...

Thank you for the link. 'Baby butt' is not poopy at all! I imagined it had something to do with the nib violently blatting out ink inopportunely. Mr. Binder is a keen observer to note how even minimal over-rounding of the tines at the slit side impairs the capillary action of the nib, making for dry starting.

Yes, I quite see why you love onion skin for your inks as it shows their variability to best advantage. I do recall from college days using this paper for the typewriter (what's that?). My recollection is it doesn't keep well. After a few years it has a tendency to brown, much moreso than your usual whitened non-fountain pen friendly typing paper.

Christine Witt said...

I'm convinced! Can't wait to give it a go!

Azizah Asgarali said...

Woo hoo!

Syed Ali said...

Precisely why I ordered my ream of this stuff yesterday.

I tried my hand at book binding a while back, and I watched this very helpful video which shows you how to do stitched binding of a notebook with nothing but regular household utensils (

It was hard to get the needle through HP Premium Choice Laser paper which is pretty thick.

My next notebook will be with this paper. I'm excited to do some more book binding, but I don't think I'll be competing with Jesse Aston anytime soon :)

Syed Ali said...

Platinum Mix-Free Aurora Blue is another blue ink with remarkable sheening ability.

I've just wrote with this stuff in my exactacompta journal yesterday with a very juicy TWSBI Diamond 540 and a 1.5mm nib and wow!

Azizah Asgarali said...

LOVELY. I will add that to my list to get :) Thank you for the tip!!

Azizah Asgarali said...

Hehehe ohhh yummy. I must check this out. Thank you for the link. I really really must learn to do this! Oh man. I MUST GET A REAM ASAP.

Lesley L said...

Well, I'm glad that after our discussion about this that you got some in and really like it. Guess I'll just save up and buy a ream (cuz we both know the sample sheets just won't cut it). You know I don't need much enticing to buy onion skin paper.

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