Making the finest quality water colours is an art form. That's why Winsor & Newton call their approach to water colour papermaking: The Art of Water Colour Paper.
The paper craft starts with the selection of the finest ingredients - 100% cotton or archival grade cellulose wood pulp.
These raw ingredients - cotton or archival grade cellulose fibres - are then dipersed and interwoven on a traditional cylinder mould at the paper mill, following artisan practice that dates back to the 19th century. The fibres are also internally and externally sized to perfectly manage water absorption and ensure a resilient surface that won't cockle or warp.
The result poduces exceptionally strong, durable water colour papers that offer a handmade finish and are available in a variety of different surface texture options that are ideal for water colour, gouache, ink and acrylic.
Created in the tradition of fine papermaking, using the finest raw materials and cylinder mould made, Winsor & Newton has launched two new velvety smooth water colour paper ranges; 100% cotton and archival grade cellulose wood pulp.
Tested and used by artists and proudly bearing the Royal Warrant seal, these water colour papers are superior water colour papers for fine water colour art and have been designed to match the high performance standards of our water colour paints.
Crafted from 100% cotton or archival grade cellulose wood pulp, our two water colour paper ranges are made on a traditional cylinder mould with internal and external sizing for exceptional strength, balanced absorbency, colour performance and resilience in every sheet.
A traditional cylinder mould is used to make Winsor & Newton papers, following a practice that dates back to the 19th century. There are only a few remaining cylinder mould machines in the world and we are fortunate enough to be able to craft out paper using this process.
The slowly rotating cylinder mould picks up the paper stock and puts it onto a continuously moving woollen felt. This ensures the fibres are dispersed and interwoven, giving the paper far greater strength and dimensional stability, minimising warping or cockling when water is absorbed by the paper
Cylinder mould made paper is stronger and more stable. Cheaper mass-produced machine made water colour papers lose their interwoven strength because the fibres point in the same direction, reducing the paper dimensional stability and strength, resulting in warping and cockling when water is applied.
Our traditional cylinder mould production process combines the consistent quality of machine made (fourdrinier) with the individual character of handmade papers such as clear watermarks and deckle edges.
The finest water colour papers are made form 100% cotton so our new range leads with our 100% cotton papers. The fibres in cotton are longer, stronger and naturally absorbent, making them ideal for water colours. Cotton paper is exceptionally smooth and looks and feels handmade. It is also naturally archival so it won't degrade or colour over time.
A more affordable yet still exceptionally high quality alternative to 100% cotton is premium archival grade cellulose wood pulp paper. Ours is made from the finest archival grade wood pulp. This has any impurities and acidity extracted and is then combined with natural spring water with neutral ph properties for a highly resilient, high performance paper that looks and feels handmade.
Our papers are made for us at a paper mill in France. As the world's leading artist toolmaker, Winsor & Newton would only put their name to water colour paper of the highest quality. Each and every sheet is inspected by hand before leaving the paper mill.
Sizing is an important consideration when creating water colour paper of the finest quality and refers to the application of a protective coating to make the paper more water resistant.
The 100% cotton paper and archival grade cellulose wood pulp paper benefit from having all of the cotton fibers internally sized to the core and externally sized - or coated - to ensure optimum absorbency and strength.
Internal sizing takes place while the raw materials are still in a liquid state while external surface sizing is applied to the surface of the paper once the sheet has been formed.
Sizing helps the paper keep its shape and primes it to consistently absorb the perfect amount of moisture. Multiple layers of paint can therefore be applied for more depth, the paper can withstand the roughest of editing techniques and colours remain brilliant and intense even when dry.
Cylinder mould made water colour paper offers a handmade finish with a variety of different surface texture options. Winsor and 100% cotton paper is cold, hot and rough pressed while Winsor & Newton archival grade cellulose wood pulp paper is available in cold pressed only.
Made to the highest possible archival standards, they will not yellow or degrade over time - and have been developed alongside Winsor & Newton Professional water colour paints and sable brushes for best results.
Acid free and with no optical brighteners, Winsor & Newton water colour papers offer brighter natural whiteness and are velvety smooth to the touch, even when rough pressed, enabling artists to achieve exactly the techniques they envisage.
In artist testings versus competitor papers, Winsor & Newton Professional 100% cotton and Winsor & Newton 100% cellulose watercolour paper outperformed or matched all key competitors overall and for even colour washes, soft merge wet into wet, dropped water effects, hard edges, colour build layering, colour mixes and colour strength.
Winsor & Newton have been creating the world's finest art materials since 1832. And with all of those years of professional excellence and artisan craft comes a passion for innovation. To constantly evolve and find new solutions while retaining the very best traditional techniques and processes.
Winsor & Newton's introduction of exceptional water colour papers is testament to this commitment to art and science; creative and technical excellence; heritage and modernity.