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Printing on Uncoated Paper: A Case Study

Blackmore works closely with St Cuthberts Mill, the UK market leader in producing artist watercolour papers. So the quality of their printed items is absolutely key, ensuring they are colour-matched every time on the uncoated fine art paper.


We spoke with Catherine Frood from St Cuthberts Mill to find out more...


Can you tell us a little about your company?


St Cuthberts Mill is a specialist paper mill dedicated to making archival artist papers. We have a cylinder mould machine, which is quite a different type of manufacturing process. It creates a type of mechanised handmade paper, where a cylinder rotates inside a vat of pulp to create a sheet with fibres that are more randomly placed, which is perfect for artists, as the paper will buckle/cockle far less when they paint the sheet.


The Bockingford watercolour paper pad, printed on uncoated paper


How do the Blackmore-printed items benefit your business?


Blackmore prints the covers for St Cuthberts Mill’s watercolour pads, blocks and spirals with our Saunders Waterford, Bockingford and Millford papers inside. The uncoated paper for printing is supplied by the mill which is made to be OBA free, archival and colour-matched to our Saunders Waterford shade of ‘White’ paper; an off-white colour, inspired by when paper historically was made from recycled rags.


What are the most important factors when printing on uncoated paper?


Watercolour paper can have the ‘sizing’ chemical, that controls the paper's absorbency, disrupted by chemicals within printing inks. Blackmore has worked closely with St Cuthberts Mill to ensure their printing methods are safe. The covers need to look good, with no blemishes, colour matched to previous items and with attention to grain direction and good crease lines to aid the pad conversion process.


St Cuthberts Mill artist paper pads, printed on uncoated paper by Blackmore Ltd


Why did you choose to work with Blackmore and what do you like about the service?


It has been a pleasure to work with Blackmore. Their knowledge of the print process, coupled with their understanding of our watercolour papers, has made working with Blackmore a partnership.


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