Sugarcane Paper v. Copy Paper

If you haven’t heard about Sugarcane Paper, now is your chance! Look at photos of fountain pen ink on sugarcane paper and regular copy paper to compare their ink absorption and see if this renewable resource paper is right for you.

I hadn’t heard about sugarcane paper until I saw a review of it on Fountain Pen Network. My husband wanted to experiment with building his own journal of sugarcane paper so we bought some. (His journals turned out great too!)

What goes into making sugarcane paper?

Well, when processing sugar from sugarcane, there’s a byproduct called bagasse that can be used in much the same way as wood pulp is. Here’s a YouTube video from 1955 of how processing bagasse into paper works, it’s only a minute and a half, but it’s really interesting! Here I was thinking this process was new, but the video is from 1955, so it’s been around for quite some time. 

So, what else could I do but run out and buy some to try with my own fountain pens? Well, I wanted to provide you with a little more info than I got from the reviews.

One of the things I wanted to test was the ink absorption and feathering/show-through using both a fine and broad nib. I mean, a broad nib is a solid test of ANY paper, they deliver so much ink, they tend to saturate any paper you use them on… but then I remembered the KING of all nibs, the music nib. Designed for bubbling in music notes with a quickness, this nib delivers the most ink per stroke of any fountain pen I’m aware of.

So, below I’ve shown you writing samples side by side on copy paper using a fine nib and a music nib. Here’s what I found:

  • Sugarcane paper feathers less than copy paper, even with a music nib
  • The copy paper feathers even with a fine nib, although the feel of the paper is slightly smoother, the ink absorption is decidedly not
  • The amount of show-through on the backside is similar between both papers, slightly less on sugarcane (this surprised me)
  • Copy paper has a slightly smoother feel
close up fountain pen ink on standard paper

Close up of fountain pen ink on standard paper – note slight feathering

Close up of fountain pen ink on sugarcane paper

Close up of fountain pen ink on sugarcane paper – note smoother ink absorbtion

sugarcane paper v. standard copy paper

Regular copy paper (left) versus sugarcane paper (right) to show slight feathering on standard paper.

backside of sugarcane paper to show ghosting

Backside of sugarcane (left) v. standard copy paper (right) using a music nib and Platinum ink

If you’re looking for where to buy it, you can find absolutely everything on Amazon of course, including Sugarcane Paper.