Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Updated Review: US versus UK paper comparison of Quo Vadis Habana journals

Habana-comparisons

My review of the large American made Quo Vadis Habana journal can be found here and the small version here. (Though for the purposes of this post, we will only be comparing the 90g paper found in the large US Habana to those manufactured outside the US.)

In short, both are great journals with excellent quality Clairefontaine paper. (90g white in the large and white 64g in the small.) Clairefontaine paper is silky smooth, thick and probably one of the most fountain pen (ink) friendly papers around.

I had read a comment somewhere from my friend Sophie, (who lives in Canada) that she has 2 Habana journals with very different paper. One was bought in Canada but made in the UK, and the other was purchased directly from the UK. She voiced a concern that the paper was not exactly what she had expected in the larger journal, and that the small journal had different paper - which she liked much better. Sophie was kind enough to desecrate her journals and send me some pages to compare to the US version. (When we say UK/US made, we mean assembled, as the paper all comes from the French Clairefontaine mills. )

Let me fist say, that there is a world of difference between these three papers.

Of note - no inks feathered on ANY of the three.

Nothing bled through the white paper except some of my permanent markers. It's a thick, smooth paper that is a dream to write on.

The large ivory Habana paper? I don't like that it's ruled to the top of the page. I also don't like how small the ruled lines are. And the paper quality is awful. It's very thin and has a very odd feel to it. It's got a slightly rough surface, or "tooth" that I never, ever, want to write on again. Several of the inks tested bled through it, including the Diamine Imperial Blue, (not shown) the Noodler's Red Black, (ok - my Lamy 2000 is a bit of a wet writer on the downstroke,) the Noodler's Aircorp Blue-Black, the Private Reserve Arabian Rose, and the Noodler's Squeteague.

Now the small Habana paper that's shown, It's smooth - not Clairefontaine smooth, but more like Moleskine smooth. It's thin like the larger Habana paper, (and like Moleskine paper) but NONE of the tested inks bled through it at all.

I actually kind of liked the thin off-white paper found in the small UK Habana and somewhere around here I have one with blank pages. I'm going to have to go and dig it out.

As of 10/02/08 Karen Doherty of Exaclair said, "The French version with ivory paper, (currently 60g in both the large and small,) will be replaced with 85g in each. These will NOT be imported to the US, as Exaclair WILL be importing the Rhodia Webnotebooks instead." (with 90g paper)

I would need to follow up with Karen whether or not that change has taken place.

1 comment:

Sophie_vf said...

I always eagerly await Exaclair news :)

by way of my own update, the small Habana you mentioned above has been my daily notebook (until I mislaid it this weekend). I've been quite enjoying it, even with the thin paper. It's wonderfully smooth to write on. The main drawback is that I don't like the way pencil or pencil crayon feels on it, but that just gives me more excuse to use pens/markers instead.

The big rough toothy Habana, however, remains gathering dust on a shelf.

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