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Ask an Expert - Forum > Best kind of paper for suminagashi

Although I mostly work with digital media, I lately started to experiment with the old art of suminagashi (japanese water marbling) and found it to be especially frustrating to find the right kind of paper. I often read that handmade/mould-made 100% cotton paper works best, so after a few basic tests I tried those and was utterly disappointed. The ones I tried so far are Hahnemühle mould-made Printmaking paper 300gsm and Garza Papel ProArt Inkjet paper 180gsm. They practically didn't react with the ink (Standardgraph Drawing Ink or Rohrer & Klingner Drawing Ink) at all when laid onto the water. Even after several minutes, almost all of the ink washed away after picking the paper up. Even the packaging paper worked better! Now I've heard that it has to do with the papers sizing and/or general ingredients, but it's almost impossible to get clear information for that in germany (where I live).
I hoped that you might be able to help me out.

Sidenote: Normal FineArt Inkjet papers (like from Fotospeed, Canson or Hahnemühle) worked best so far, but the point is that I want to understand WHY.
You can see a comparison here:
https://imgur.com/a/Jo3VNf1

Thanks in advance,
Thomas
June 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterThomas
Hi Thomas,

We really appreciate your patience, while we’ve been working on this! For Suminagashi, papers with surface sizing are key. Although we are familiar with marbling techniques from our own knowledge and from our artists, Suminagashi is one we don’t get asked about often. We do recommend a lightweight paper that does have some type of surface sizing. From our research, there’s no definitive paper that is strictly recommended for this technique. But, we found some similarities across different demonstrations online that range from fine art print making sheets that were 300 GSM to commodity lightweight construction paper, that yielded successful images after the printmaking process.

We will be sending you a variety of different sheets that range from lightweight handmade paper to 250 GSM paper. Based off the papers we carry, we are going to provide you nine different product 8.5x11 sample sheets to test out. The best thing to do is to buy a variety of papers from multiple manufacturers and test out each of its capabilities for your technique specifically. Although you were looking for a scientific reasoning, we strongly feel the trial and error approach will be most beneficial.

We’ll be sending you the following products:
• Masa
• Mulberry
• Entrada Rag Natural 190
• Stonehenge & Stonehenge Light Weight
• Stonehenge Aqua 140 CP & HP
• Zerkall Ingres
• Zerkall Book- Wove Vellum 100 and Wove Smooth 100

After you test them out, please let us know what your findings are. We are both curious and excited! In the future, we’ll be able to provide recommendations for other artists who are looking for the same answers.

We look forward to hearing from you!
July 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLegion Paper
I was looking for deep color, sharp lines (=no blurring/bleeding) and if the paper has texture it shouldn't be too distracting. That said, most of the papers had mediocre results with the exception of Masa and especially the Moab Entrada Rag, which performed extremely well!

Other papers or media, that also worked well:
- Canson Infinity Edition Etching 310gsm
- Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Duo 220gsm
January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterThomas