Episode #20- Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia paper

Whenever you hear talk of fine paper, Clairefontaine and Rhodia will always come up. What’s confusing though is that some people know the difference between the two, and others don’t, so rumors spread. Well I’m here to clear up some of the confusion between the two brands.

Clairefontaine has been making paper in France since 1858, and Rhodia has been making paper (also in France) since 1932. In 1997, Clairefontaine bought Rhodia. Their products have been long established so the brands are separate, but Clairefontaine is the parent company. The paper in the Clairefontaine notebooks and Rhodia pads is all made by Clairefontaine, but it’s not the same paper.

The Clairefontaine staplebounds are smooth, 90g paper, ideal for fountain pen use. The paper in the Rhodia pads is 80g, and slightly less smooth, ideal for fountain pens or pencils. That’s the big secret! There’s really not much more to it than that. There are a whole variety of different products under both brands, which might meet your needs based on your individual preferences. Check them all out for yourself and see what you might like now that you know what’s up with both brands!

A fine selection of both Clairefontaine and Rhodia products are available at The Goulet Pen Company, as well as other fine retailers.

Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen viewing.

2017-10-06T17:56:47+00:00 March 29th, 2010|Paper Reviews|4 Comments
  • Difference between the two papers noted. Clearly explained in this concise and effective video. Nice job!

  • 90g Clairefontaine and 80g Rhodia (each bright white) are the primary differences, but if you go beyond the 2 products that you are discussing, you also have 90g Triomphe (different animal than the 90g in the rest of their products as the surface is much slicker) the 90g off-white in the Webbies, and the 64g found in the small Habanas.

    The "regular" 90g Clairefontaine has to me, always had a bit of a "drag" to its surface, and while I find the Rhodia 8og (and the Webbie 90g) to be easier to write on. I myself would not really call one "smoother" than another, just different.

    I have noticed that pen nibs tend to write very true to their nib-width on the Clairefontaine – in some cases, even making a decent flowing pen write kind of stingy.

    I think it's all probably a matter of personal taste. :o)

    Oh, and there actually is a big secret about the differences in paper…. LOL If you read Karen's recent blog post on Rhodia Drive about the #6 machine, http://rhodiadrive.com/2010/03/24/no-6-machine/ you'll see that certain Clairefontaine products are made on certain machines, and over time, each develops its own special "personality."

    Much thanks for working on clearing up the differences between these two great paper products.

  • 90g Clairefontaine and 80g Rhodia (each bright white) are the primary differences, but if you go beyond the 2 products that you are discussing, you also have 90g Triomphe (different animal than the 90g in the rest of their products as the surface is much slicker) the 90g off-white in the Webbies, and the 64g found in the small Habanas.

    The "regular" 90g Clairefontaine has to me, always had a bit of a "drag" to its surface, and while I find the Rhodia 8og (and the Webbie 90g) to be easier to write on. I myself would not really call one "smoother" than another, just different.

    I have noticed that pen nibs tend to write very true to their nib-width on the Clairefontaine – in some cases, even making a decent flowing pen write kind of stingy.

    I think it's all probably a matter of personal taste. :o)

    Oh, and there actually is a big secret about the differences in paper…. LOL If you read Karen's recent blog post on Rhodia Drive about the #6 machine, http://rhodiadrive.com/2010/03/24/no-6-machine/ you'll see that certain Clairefontaine products are made on certain machines, and over time, each develops its own special "personality."

    Much thanks for working on clearing up the differences between these two great paper products.

  • Carlos

    Nice music!!