"Laid paper"? Some of you might be wondering: what on earth is "Laid paper"?
Luckily for you, I covered this a while back! Have a look at my post "Laid... or wove?"
The Crown Mill writing paper is, as Scrib has also noted, laid paper. Which makes it excellent for graphite lovers, but not so much fun for fountain pen users. The very reason laid paper can be a pain (literally) to write on using a fountain pen is the very reason other pens (and pencils) work so well: it has a texture or 'toothiness' to it.
As many of you will know from previous blog posts, I am a keen letter-writer. I've recently had a very bad flare-up of the arthritis in my right thumb and have had to resort to writing left-handed. Although I can write left-handed reasonably legibly, it's not as neat as my right-handed writing and it was easier for me to write in pencil (to have the ability to erase the really rubbish writing!). The Crown Mill paper was fabulous for this (some writing paper can be too smooth for pencil).
But what if you don't want to use pencil and don't give a fig about using a fountain pen? What's it like for other writing implements?
It's actually rather nice.
The texture to the paper which is so lovely with graphite, is nonetheless also quite pleasing with gel pens and ballpoints. The Crown Mill paper is quite soft, so if you do write on it in ballpoint, and you have a heavy hand, you may end up with the paper more textured than it started out!
Although primarily a fountain pen lover, I do also write using gel pens and (more rarely) ballpoints. The arthritis in my thumb makes ballpoints my least favourite writing implement, because of the pressure required to write with them. It's also the reason I love fountain pens so much, as there's almost no pressure required and my hand stays (largely) pain-free even after long writing sessions.
Gel pens sit somewhere between fountain pens and ballpoints though - they don't need a lot of pressure to make a line but are more convenient for many, not requiring cartridges or bottles of ink. Where they (and ballpoints) win with laid paper, is that they don't get snarled up on the ridges the way fountain pens do.
For completeness, I tried two fountain pens on the paper. My finer-nibbed one (the Platinum 14k gold nib) wasn't actually too bad an experience, despite the fine ridges on the paper. The Rosetta Mosaic, with its chunky stub nib... not fun.
There's a lovely quality feel to this paper. If you're going to go to the trouble of writing a letter by hand, make it even more special by using fine paper, too. At £7.50 for A5 size, or £10 for A4, it won't break the bank, either. Each pad has 50 sheets of 100 gsm paper and a guide sheet.