Life Kappan Writing Paper

I don’t usually buy loose-sheet writing paper, as I don’t really write correspondence in hard copy; but the Life Kappan writing paper pad is an exception. Firstly, it isn’t strictly loose sheet, as it is lightly glued to its cardboard backing along the top edge. And secondly, this paper is just phenomenal. It makes you look for people to whom you could write those letters you have such fanciful ideas of writing… or at least, I do. I have visions of penning multiple pages of prose that’ll be exhibited in museums long after I’m gone… the Letters of Dr. Godden.

Life Kappan Writing Paper, 255 x 180 mm (10 x 7 inches), 30 sheets

But in actuality, will probably be used to line the floors of hamster cages or something. And the hamsters will all have blue feet because the pigmented ink wasn’t waterproof. But still, if they use this stuff, they’ll have a good floor.

The paper is gloriously smooth, with a slight sheen. It’s not white, despite what the scans may look like below. It’s lined, with margins on both the left and right of the page, but is only marked on one side of the paper. There is very little feathering with any of the inks I’ve tested this paper with, and the only bleedthorugh I have noticed has been with a very wet Platinum Balance, and I think I may have been a bit over-enthusiastic with an ink circle.

Life Kappan writing paper, with broad nib writing sample

Despite that one incidence of bleedthrough, I think that problem is rare:

The paper is super for fountain pen ink. Zero feathering or bleedthrough, even though the paper is on the thin side. The lines with all types of inks and nibs is crisp and sharp, with flex nibs and super wet pens. Inks that sometimes show sheen are also great with this paper…
Liz, January 15, 2015
Wonder Pens
Life Stationery Kappan Writing Paper

Also, when I say very little feathering, really, it’s none; but I get pedantic about this sort of thing, and if you look close enough, you can always see some feathering. It’s just that you might have to crank up the magnification a bit.

What can I say… I’m a bioscientist who spent most of his formative years staring down a microsocope.

Even though the paper is thin, with lines on only one side, the quality means you could easily write on both sides of a sheet if you were conscious of wasting your paper. And this brings me to my only complaint, there are only 30 sheets in a pad… so I bought three.

Life Kappan Writing Paper, 255 x 180 mm (10 x 7 inches), 30 sheets, front cover


Life Kappan Writing Paper, 255 x 180 mm (10 x 7 inches), 30 sheets, rear cover

I even like the covers, I think they give the pad a kind of vintage appeal, but maybe that’s just me.

You’ll also notice from the size quoted above that each sheet is just a bit bigger than A5 (210 x 148mm, 5.8 x 8.3in). You should be aware of this if you’re going to be sending it out as correspondence, because you might have to fold it into an odd shape to fit into an envelope. Fortunately, Life do a range of envelopes that complement the off-white color, and match the paper for size (e.g., Life #6 Airmail Envelopes, 98 x 190mm) in packs of 10. But given that the paper is about $10.00 Canadian for 30 sheets, and each pack of envelopes is about $5.50 Canadian for 10, then (at the time of writing) you’ll pay about $30.00 Canadian (including taxes), for 30 letters before postage. And be sure to address envelopes in waterproof ink. You wouldn’t believe the mess when those fancy, glittery, water-soluble inks get caught in the rain—something like Sailor’s Kiwa-Guro (Ultra Black) Carbon ink should do it—you wouldn’t want the post-people to end up with fingers the same color as the hamster feet would you? And that ink is another cost, if you haven’t got some already; but then, there’s nothing like showing you care is there?

I really have no idea if this is expensive or not when thinking about hard copy correspondence, because you obviously get a few letters and envelopes out of your paper and ink. I haven’t posted a real letter in decades. But somehow, more than thirty to forty bucks (including postage and ink) seems quite a lot. I intend to make mine count… so that they can be viewed in museums.


In short, beautiful, but possibly pricey letter writing. Better write to people you really care about, and enjoy the experience… I know I will, and have already.

3 thoughts on “Life Kappan Writing Paper

  1. “there are only 30 sheets in a pad… so I bought three.”

    I have to give you just a bit of ribbing for this when you later write that you “haven’t posted a real letter in decades.” 🙂

    Will you use this to leave notes for your loved ones? Not to jot shopping lists, surely?

    But I’m even more addicted to fine paper than I am to my pens and ink. I spent $10 per sheet for some hand made Italian stationery, and that was 20 or more years ago and I really couldn’t afford it… I had to force myself to consider anyone worthy of receiving a letter written on it! My “signature” writing paper is now Dempsey & Carroll’s grey; Crane’s ditched the pale pink of my youth, then the Moonstone Grey I’d adopted in college after they were bought out.

    I used to use airmail weight sheets because I’m verbose. (Obviously, from the length of my commentary.) Now I’m grown up and pay whatever the postage to use the cards or sheets I like. My paper costs way more than my stamps.

    I do still write letters. Not as often as I’d like, in part because almost no one gets around to writing back anymore. Writing with a pen–especially a really GOOD pen on wonderful paper–is such a delight, though, and the finished product feels like a gift, not just straightforward communication.


    1. You are, of course, completely right… whoa… TEN BUCKS A SHEET?? AMERICAN? That’s about twelve bucks Canadian.

      Three sheets would buy another TWSBI Eco. Not that I need another TWSBI Eco. But wow, that would have to be beautiful paper, and no, the only people I know that I would use that paper for, live in the same house as me. Everybody else would be, “Mm, nice paper… [where’s the recycling bin]?”

      The question very much arises, just who do we buy this sort of paper for? It doesn’t appear to be the people we might send it to.


  2. PS. My wife travels to academic conferences, and for research a lot. I tend to write notes and hide them in her luggage so that she finds them while she’s away. I’m a romantic at heart.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s