FINE ART PAPER GLOSSARY The following features are characteristic of quality papers, and will assist in paper selection. 100% COTTON The cotton makes the paper highly resistant and soft to the touch, as well as enhancing its ability to absorb liquids. As a result 100% cotton paper is particularly suitable for washes. ACID FREE Acid free paper guarantees resistance and stability. Only paper manufactured using acid free materials will retain its original quality and whiteness over time. BOARD Medium pasted on a carton base for drawing and making mounting boards for framing. Such media are certified for High Conservation Quality. BUFFERING Calcium carbonate is added to the paper in the pulp stage, increasing the alkalinity of the paper as a defense against environmental acids. CANVAS TEXTURE A paper reproducing the texture of linen fabric, ready for use in oil or acrylic painting. COATED Paper having undergone chemical (coating consisting of talc, kaolin, etc.) and mechanical (calendering) processes to improve its surface quality. COLD PRESS Light texture, the most common on account of its ease of use. It reflects light well, retaining the transparent quality of watercolors. A light grain makes it easier to achieve certain details. CYLINDER MOULD Very high quality traditional manufacturing process, allowing even, natural distribution of plant fibres, yielding very robust paper with a natural grain, close to handmade paper. The edges of the sheets are “deckled”, having been “torn” by hand. DECKLE EDGES Irregular edges, which provide a traditional, hand-made look to the paper, deckle edges can be made on the paper machine or by tearing the paper. FINE GRAIN A light imprint on the surface of the sheet creating a delicate texture, showing off the drawing at its best and giving the artist a welcome range of effects. 10 FINISH Finishes include cold press, rough, and hot press. Cold press is the most popular, and is created when the wet sheets of paper are pressed by the cold rollers of the machine. Cold press papers are versatile and easy to use. Hot press paper is very smooth, because it is run between heated rollers or plates to create a hard, flat surface that works well for printmaking, sketching, drawing, and drafting. Rough papers have a more defined texture because they dry without being pressed. They are a good choice for transparent watercolors and pastels. FREE FROM OPTICAL BRIGHTENERS Optical brighteners create an artificial brightness that is not permanent. Canson does not use optical brighteners in the production of quality papers, and instead relies on the natural bleached pulp to maintain a stable white color. FOURDRINIER Traditional paper machine on which the sheet of paper forms by draining on a continuous horizontal web. The symmetry of the draining process is sometimes enhanced by adding a former (a second web) which sucks up the water contained in the fibrous suspension from above. Fourdrinier machines enable much faster production than cylinder moulds. Grain is obtained mechanically and the edges are clean-cut. A majority of fibres are aligned with the run of the machine. GELATINING Natural gelatine protects the cotton fibres and prevents dyes from reaching the core of the paper, ensuring colors remain transparent and look exceptional. GRAIN Cold press, hot press, rough, etc. bearing the imprint of the felt on the paper machine. The greater the range of grain, the more an artist can play on the texture of the surface to achieve effects such as relief or smoothness. GRAMMAGE Weight in grams per square metre of paper, written as gsm. The higher the grammage, the better paper will withstand successive coats of paint or water. If a work is intended to last it is advisable to use a high grammage paper. The choice also depends on the required size and the medium’s rigidity. For example, a large work using dry pastels demands thick, rigid paper. But grammage is also related to cost, so it is advisable to use a lighter paper for studies and sketches.