Best Paper Choices For Calligraphy

Did you ever go through a phase of learning an art form such as watercolor painting or oil painting where you noticed that your results just are not the same as the YouTube tutorial videos you're referring to? For some reason while you start off with whatever art supplies you have at home you cannot get even remotely close to the same effect. 

Apparently the kind of paper plays a crucial role in many art forms. 

Especially for a delicate art form such as calligraphy, there are a few kinds of papers and art supplies that work better than others. Let's find out how that works. 

Why does calligraphy need specialized paper? 

There are actually a lot of reasons or factors that dictate the fact that not just any paper can be used for calligraphy.  Many factors such as texture, weight and color that have to be considered before deciding on the perfect kind of paper.

You may notice the following indicators of an unsuitable paper.

  • The paper absorbs too much ink and results in words or letters having frayed edges. 
  • If the paper is too light or thin, and you are lettering with a calligraphy pen, the frayed papers can also get stuck in your nib's tines. 
  • The paper crumbles under the weight of the ink and bends at the corners. 
  • The nib of your pen does not run smoothly across.

So, how to choose paper for calligraphy? 

There are obviously endless kinds of paper that you can choose for practicing calligraphy. But here are a few pointers you need to notice before you decide.


When it comes to weight in different kinds of paper it reflects how thick a paper will be. Calligraphy requires using thick papers because thin papers will crumble to the ink and movements of the nib or the ink will bleed onto your working table. 


For beginning your calligraphy journey you must understand that you require certain tools that are more compatible with food finish papers rather than textured papers. If you use your brush pens or names on rough surfaces for a long period it can damage your tools permanently. 


Calligraphy can be easily done on both coated and uncoated papers but differ in terms of ink absorbency. Although your tools will run smoothly on both kinds of papers you may need to allow some time for ink to dry on coated papers. Whereas uncoated paper may absorb too much of  Inc and may lead to blurred edges of your letters. 


What kind of papers work well with calligraphy?

Now that we know what are the factors that need to be considered while buying paper made for calligraphy, here are a few kinds of papers and how they work with calligraphy. 


Copy paper 

Since copy paper is one of the most common papers found around you, it's also affordable for all kinds of everyday paper needs like printing or writing. But it's also one of the lightweight and thin papers that cannot stand the process of calligraphy or ink. Since calligraphy usually requires thick papers, copy paper may be suitable for practicing your strokes with a pen, but eventually you will be required to move on to thicker papers or cardstock.

Parchment paper 

With a one of a kind texture, parchment paper at ThunderBolt Papers is very popular among calligraphy artists because of its unique old age paper kind of appearance. Available in many thicknesses and colors, parchment paper has a unique but smooth surface that facilitates calligraphy and does not crumble under the weight of the Ink or brush pen.

Linen paper

Known for its fabric like texture linen paper is popular with many art and craft enthusiasts along with favorites among printers. As already mentioned textured papers do not work very well with your calligraphy pens as the fibers may get stuck in your pen nib but felt tip pens and brush pens work perfectly fine on linen paper for calligraphy. 

In the end, calligraphy is like any other art or new skill that can be perfect over time with practice. Once you start you can take your time to practice with easily accessible and affordable papers at first and then move on to thicker and higher quality papers for more presentable projects. 

Have you tried calligraphy on parchment paper?