The Best Etching Papers for Woodcuts, Block Printing and More – ARTnews.com

The type of paper you use for engraving can make or break your artwork. Whether you’re working with woodcuts, relief printing, or stone lithography, you’ll need good quality sheets that can tolerate the weight of ink and pressure (whether from hands or of a mechanical press) while providing the right amount of absorption. When you’re armed with the right paper, you’ll likely get more accurate and consistent prints, ultimately saving you time and money. Find the best option for your needs in our selection of the best etching papers, below.

1. BFK Rives engraving paper

Prints look sophisticated and ready to display with this fine print paper, made in France from 100% cotton. Each leaf has an almost velvety texture and shows off individual fibers that beautifully lock in pigments. This popular paper excels when used for a range of printmaking techniques, whether intaglio, block printing, linocuts or lithography, and can also be used for drawing on media dry. Each sheet has been sized internally which helps to reduce ink smearing as well as excessive ink absorption. This pack contains 10 sheets of 22 x 30 inch white paper with two natural bridges and two torn bridges.

To buy:
BFK Rives engraving paper

$95.59

2. Rives de Lin engraving paper

Another extremely popular artist-grade product, Rives de Lin paper is also made in France, except it differs from BFK in being 85% cotton and 15% linen. This gives it a slightly rougher texture than most other etching papers, almost like cold pressed foil. Durable and heavy, the sheets can receive several coats of ink and can even be dampened or soaked before going through the press. Each 22 x 30 inch sheet in this set of 10 is crisp white with a weight of 270 gsm.

The best etching papers for woodcuts,

To buy:
Rives de Lin engraving paper

$112.11

3. Kitakata Paper

This beautiful paper is made from gampi fibers, which give the sheets a subtle, almost silky texture on one side. They are semi-translucent papers with naturally feathered edges and a warm, almost glowing hue, and are particularly well suited to traditional printing techniques. The sheets absorb ink very well while presenting crisp, clear lines. They are quite light, but the fibers of gampi are incredibly strong, making it a very strong paper. Each package comes with five sheets measuring 16 by 20 inches.

The best etching papers for woodcuts,

To buy:
Kitakata Paper

$69.95

4. Strathmore 400 Series Etching Paper

For a great student-quality option, we recommend Strathmore’s low-cost etching papers, perfect for young artists as well as those new to the medium. Although slightly stiff (they’re made of high alpha-cellulose wood fiber rather than cotton), they’re surprisingly absorbent, holding ink very well without showing smudging. They are also acid free. These economical 18 x 24 inch sheets come in a pad of 15, providing plenty of paper for hands-on experiments or exercises, and you won’t have to feel precious using sheets. The pages are uniform, so you know exactly what you’re working on every time.

The best etching papers for woodcuts,

To buy:
Strathmore 400 Series Etching Paper

$30.65

5. Black Ink Thai Print Pack

If your favorite form of printmaking is the very accessible process of block printing, consider these papers made from kozo, or Japanese mulberry, mixed with bamboo. The plant has long fibers and excellent absorbency and is strong to withstand inks as well as heavy pressure. Made in Thailand, these sheets feature a smooth side and a lightly textured side; surfaces are creamy and almost vaporous, giving your works a refined feel.

The best etching papers for woodcuts,

To buy:
Black Ink Thai Print Pack

$16.07

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