I wonder if we could open up a discussion on a very hot topic…in the world of letterpress that is. What paper do you print on? A few years ago Cranes came out with the Lettra brand specifically for letterpress printers. Its 100% cotton, and incredibly soft and plush. A lot of printers use the 110lb stock, but to be honest I have some issues with it. I think its beautiful of course, but it is so soft and fibery that it takes a beating even handling it around the studio. The stock doesn’t score well because the excessive fibers make it look like the paper is cracked, and the envelopes are impossible to send through inkjets for addressing. (Even if you can send them through the fibers build up on the print head and eventually disrupt the inkflow. Expensive and inconvenient.)
So why am I saying all this? This week I met with Reich Paper here in Brooklyn about the new letterpress stock they are introducing next month (not up on the site yet). I’m thrilled because I tested the stock for them last winter and totally loved it. The stock is also 100% cotton, archival, acid-free – but it’s more sturdy, the envelopes go through the inkjet gorgeously, and the score is clean and sharp. Instead of 110lb they’ll be offering a 118lb in white and off-white. Another plus is that they’ll be selling smaller quantities and pre-cut pieces, great for smaller printshops who might not have guillotine cutters.
Here are some photos of my test prints (notice the holiday themes – it was right before Christmas). I’m going to be printing a stack of samples for Reich to send out when the stock debuts – if you’re a printer and would like to check it out email me your mailing address and I’ll make sure you get some.
And in the meantime let’s start a discussion…do you print on 100% cotton paper? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Does anyone share my grief over printing on overly soft or fibrous paper? Is there a particular brand of paper you love printing on? Share your feedback below, I’m interested in hearing what you guys think.