Author Topic: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy  (Read 3888 times)

Offline Garima

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Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« on: March 12, 2016, 02:33:40 AM »
Now that i've signed up for the spring exchange, I want to know how to choose an envelope for calligraphy. Though i know a lot of it is trial depending on the kind of nib and inks i'd be using but what other than the poundage should be considered while choosing envelopes.

I also haven't had luck finding good envelopes here so far, so any suggestions on creating my own are welcome! :)
Garima Singh
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2016, 04:04:40 AM »
Hello Garima.  :)

I'm thinking that this might prove to be a bit of a problem for you, but with a bit of luck Prasad will be able to advise about what's easily available in India, or else what it's economic to import.

The ideal envelope will be pleasant to write on and will take ink impeccably, which means a smooth, well sized surface.  One of the classic brands is Conqueror Wove, which definitely fits the bill and has good world wide distribution.  My guess is that if you can't find any of the others I'm about to mention, you probably will be able to find Conqueror.  They won't be cheap though.  Other envelopes I've tried and liked include Clairefontaine Triomphe and Pollen, Original Crown Mill Velin (the pure cotton ones are rather like sandpaper), Artoz Classic, and just lately Opera Light.  Basildon Bond is still pretty good, especially the air mail stationery.  With the obvious exception of the latter, you're probably looking at a minimum paper weight of 120gsm for decent durability.

Do you have a local stationery supplier who cares sufficiently about customer relations to provide samples?  That would be the perfect arrangement, and it would be well worth cultivating a friendly relationship.

As for making envelopes I have a bit of form on that.  It's straightforward enough, and you can use anything which takes your fancy if you're prepared to stick on an address label.  (Alternatively recycle glassine from business envelopes and make a window as in the picture below).  Double-sided sticky tape is highly recommended!  Many papers have a tendency to crack along folds, but you can ensure against that (and pose a conundrum for the recipient) by reinforcing them with strategically placed tape.  You can get a C6 size envelope from an A4 sheet, or alternatively a long thin one for A4 folded across the width twice - but for a DL you need bigger paper.

Here are a couple of examples made from old calendars or wrapping paper.  Most people who go in for this sort of thing prefer to put the label on the side with the flap and leave the best side blank.

Offline katerina

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 04:51:36 AM »
Hello Garima!
It's quite hard to find the perfect envelope to me, you have to try a tons, annoy your stationery seller with a lots of questions and try, try, try ... each kind of envelope need a combination of instrument + medium in my opinion.
If it the very first time don't be shy to try  ;) maybe you can find some creative solutions!
I've found that if my ink bleeds I can use guache and that's more performant also on weird kind of paper, or sometimes I write the address on my practice paper and the I "glue" on the envelope like this one

Otherwise maybe you can also do your own envelope with the paper that you prefer folding that..  possibilities are endless  ;D

Offline prasad

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2016, 05:31:25 AM »
Now that i've signed up for the spring exchange, I want to know how to choose an envelope for calligraphy. Though i know a lot of it is trial depending on the kind of nib and inks i'd be using but what other than the poundage should be considered while choosing envelopes.

I also haven't had luck finding good envelopes here so far, so any suggestions on creating my own are welcome! :)

Hi Garima,
You can use all sorts of envelopes as suggested.  Just one word of advice for sending letters based on problems I have faced. 
Don't get too fancy with the calligraphy for the address,  most postmen don't bother delivering or sorting if they can't easily read the address. 

I've lost a few letters that way.  Also, when signing up for the exchange just make a note that your address is to be written in plain script.  Envelope can be decorated, but keep address simple. 

That will guarantee receipt.
-Prasad
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Remember - An amateur built the Ark and Professionals built the Titanic
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Offline Elisabeth_M

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2016, 02:23:00 PM »
I love making envelopes and decorating them!  My favorite thing to use is old calendars which I used to be able to get at my local used book store for less than 50 cents each.  I recently moved, though, so I will have to find another source.  :)  One thing to note about adhesives:  many postal employees have told me that washi tape sometimes doesn't hold up well in the postal equipment, so if you use it to tape up the sides, use something like cellophane tape first, then cover it with washi tape.
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Offline Garima

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2016, 02:08:28 PM »
Thanks everyone for taking time out and helping!  :)

The ideal envelope will be pleasant to write on and will take ink impeccably, which means a smooth, well sized surface.  One of the classic brands is Conqueror Wove, which definitely fits the bill and has good world wide distribution.  My guess is that if you can't find any of the others I'm about to mention, you probably will be able to find Conqueror.  They won't be cheap though.  Other envelopes I've tried and liked include Clairefontaine Triomphe and Pollen, Original Crown Mill Velin (the pure cotton ones are rather like sandpaper), Artoz Classic, and just lately Opera Light.  Basildon Bond is still pretty good, especially the air mail stationery.  With the obvious exception of the latter, you're probably looking at a minimum paper weight of 120gsm for decent durability.

Le sigh! It sure has been a problem so far but i'm trying to import some envelopes for this one until i find some dealer here. Haven't had any luck with too many samples yet except a guy who was kind enough to give me some. Yes i have found conqueror sheets after a lot of research but then i'll need to fold them into envelopes. Will try that too if nothing else works.

Will also give the form you've suggested, a try! Where all do you order online from in UK? In case a friend decides to drop by!! Thanks for your help :)

If it the very first time don't be shy to try  ;) maybe you can find some creative solutions!

Hehe! Looking at the current situation, i'll sure find a creative solution soon! :)

You can use all sorts of envelopes as suggested.  Just one word of advice for sending letters based on problems I have faced. 
Don't get too fancy with the calligraphy for the address,  most postmen don't bother delivering or sorting if they can't easily read the address. 

Thanks for the advice Prasad :) Growing up, i was fond of writing letters and at times being fancy with my writing. After having lost a few of them, i figured out how the postal system here works :D Have notified while signing up to keep it simple!

One thing to note about adhesives:  many postal employees have told me that washi tape sometimes doesn't hold up well in the postal equipment, so if you use it to tape up the sides, use something like cellophane tape first, then cover it with washi tape.

Great tip! Thanks  :)
Garima Singh
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2016, 04:41:11 PM »
Where all do you order online from in UK? In case a friend decides to drop by!!

Most of the time either Bureau Direct or Cult Pens for stationery.  Both unreservedly recommended for customer service, but beware of casual visits to the latter if you're easily tempted.  :)  Amazon has also come up trumps on occasion, for discounted Elco, Artoz and Basildon Bond.  As for calligraphy retailers, may I recommend the Supplies in Europe thread?

Incidentally, Elisabeth is spot on about washi tape: it doesn't stand up to automated sorting at all well.

Offline NicM

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2016, 04:57:28 PM »
I love the envelopes from Paper Source but they unfortunately do not have international shipping aside from Canada. Their envelopes are thick and of high quality, and I find that they work well with both fountain and dip pens including some fussier inks.

Another thing to keep in mind is to use waterproof inks (or use protective coating) for the address information to survive the transit in case of poor weather conditions. I like tips provided by Lindsey on The Postman's Knock regarding this subject: https://thepostmansknock.com/addressing-envelopes-for-an-event/

Offline Garima

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 05:17:08 PM »
As for calligraphy retailers, may I recommend the Supplies in Europe thread?

Thanks for all the info Andy. Much appreciated! This is what I was looking for  :) Good that I'm not planning to go anywhere near cult pens in the near future because I get tempted at the drop of a hat! But I can sure ask my friends to check it out. Thanks again!

I love the envelopes from Paper Source but they unfortunately do not have international shipping aside from Canada.

Yeah I heard the same from another calligrafriend but they don't ship worldwide  :( I also came across this article a couple of days back and it has a lot of info for a beginner like me. Thanks for helping :)
Garima Singh
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Offline Michellie

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 03:39:43 AM »
Hi Garima,

My supplier happen to have a distributor in India. Check out their website: http://www.fedrigoni-india.com/contacts.html.

According to their website, they stock some envelopes and letterhead. Worth contacting them?

I have tried using the following Fedrigoni paper and they are good for calligraphy writing. Not sure if PRISM PAPYRUS stock them but you can check :)
  • Old Mill
  • Sirio Color
  • Sirio Pearl
  • Splendorgel
  • Freelife Vellum
  • Woodstock

Cheers,

Michellie
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Offline Garima

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Re: Choosing an envelope for calligraphy
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 06:04:18 AM »
My supplier happen to have a distributor in India. Check out their website: http://www.fedrigoni-india.com/contacts.html.

Whoa thats super awesome Michellie!!!!! Will contact them right away! 

Thank you so very much :)
Garima Singh
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