Arches Watercolour Paper an inimitable paper of the highest quality and is 100% cotton paper. Since 1492, Arches has been producing finest materials for art and literary greats to inspire artists. Over the centuries, quality has always been paramount and today the manufacturing process brings together traditional techniques with the very latest advances in papermaking technology. Arches paper is made in the village of Arches in the Vosges, France. The high-quality water supplied by river provides optimum conditions to produce excellent paper.
This legendary paper is still made with natural cotton fibres, carefully selected for their absorbency and durability. Arches Watercolour Paper is mould-made. The cylinder-mould machine ensures that fibres are evenly distributed which makes the paper extremely stable, so it will not warp or stretch when water is applied to it. Its composition with long fibres of 100% cotton gives the paper its strength, beauty, a natural, lasting whiteness and an inimitable touch with the look and feel of a vintage hand-made paper.
Arches Watercolour Paper are with 100% cotton fibre content. They are acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatine-sized, Chlorine Free and air-dried. Sheets have two natural deckle edges, two torn deckle edges, and are watermarked and embossed. Arches Watercolour paper is strong enough to handle multiple washes of colour, masking fluid, scrubbing and artist tape without damage to the surface. Each sheet is permeated with sizing to give each fibre a consistent feel and absorbency.
Printmakers who desire to use this paper for etching/intaglio should note that for the extra-sizing process usually requires soaking overnight or possibly longer to prepare and soften the surface.
Cylinder mould manufacturing is most suitable for making paper that is stable (not liable to be deformed when it is wet), watermarked, with a natural grain and deckle edges. Today Arches is the only French paper mill still producing fine art and printing papers on a cylinder mould. Making paper using a cylinder mould produces very high-quality papers similar to handmade paper.
Gelatine Sizing Surface
Arches is the only paper mill in the world to gelatine size its watercolour paper "to the core" (also known as internal sizing). This preserves the lustre and transparency of the colours whilst preventing paints from penetrating into the paper. It allows superposing of washes and gives it added strength to resist erasing and scratching without tearing or linting. It also allows paints to be removed, either wet or dry, easily revealing the whiteness of the paper. Arches Watercolour can absorb a large amount of water with limited deformation.
Natural untrimmed edge of a sheet of paper made on a cylinder mould. The irregular edge gives the paper a softer, authentic feel.
The grain of a paper is the texture of its surface, which can be of varying degrees of smoothness, the smoothest being satin grain. Arches papers are known for their smooth, regular grain, obtained by making the paper on a cylinder mould and thanks to the choice of the felt, which impresses its surface onto the sheet.
Arches papers are available in 3 textures:
1. Satin grain (hot pressed)- Hot Pressed papers are plate smooth and are ideal for traditional watercolour techniques, as well as printmaking, pen and ink drawing and airbrushing.
2. Fine grain (cold pressed)- The cold press finish has a light texture and is the most common texture. It reflects light well, retaining the transparent quality of watercolours. It is Recommended for Calligraphy, Inkjet, Intaglio, Letterpress, Offset, Pen & Ink, Pastel & Charcoal, Silkscreen, Watercolour
3. Rough grain ("torchon")- The rough finish has an effect close to that of handmade paper. This rough grain paper helps to achieve valuable effects of texture. Ideal for gouache, acrylic, charcoal, pastel, watercolour, ink.