Saturday, August 31, 2013

Carta Pura Notebooks: Beautiful, but...

A little while ago I saw those Carta Pura notebooks at RSVP Berlin's web store (great shop) and as I like the look and was planning to place an order there anyway I also picked two of those. I can't say much about CartaPura, they seem to be located in Munich and offer a range of stationery, giftwrap papers and other paper goods. Sadly they don't have an online shop of their own.

The notebooks come in A5 and A6 size (mine are, as usual, the A5), have beautifully textured covers made of dark grey Satogami paper and edges dyed in five vivid colors. Inside there's 48 sheets of rather thin, ruled paper - not sure if blank or ruled versions are available -, which makes for a very slim notebook about as thick as a Rhodia/CF cahier.

Carta Pura notebooks

What I like most about those is the covers contrasting with the colorfully dyed edges. I was even tempted to choose pink instead of orange!

Carta Pura notebooks

As I'm very fond of their stationery line which is called Rivoli - beautiful, very thick paper in soft shades of ivory, grey, blue and rose -, I assumed the notebooks would be just as fountain pen friendly. Sadly I wasn't quite right with that.

Carta Pura - Writing Sample - front side
 Carta Pura - Writing Sample - back side 

There is moderate bleedthrough even with fine and dry nibs which becomes very prominent with heavier ink flow. Diamine Asa Blue is showing the worst bleedthrough, followed by Diamine Oxblood. Sailor Souten is a little better. Using only fine and dry nibs the paper would be acceptable for fountain pens but still is no joy to write on.

Carta Pura - Writing Sample

Those very free flowing inks also feather a little.
The paper itself feels very thin and reminds me of some notebooks I used as journals in my teenage years. In short, it feels cheap - though, sadly, it isn't! As I like special papers and bindings the term "overpriced" doesn't come into my mind all that often. This time, though, it does. Wouldn't buy again, despite their pretty colors.


  1. Thanks for the review. I wonder if you could help me to decide about the music nibs. Do you have any entry about them? Which nib is the most wet? Any ink preference for them?

    1. Hmm, I reviewed a Nakaya with a music nib here:

      I've also tried a Sailor music nib but the Nakaya offered better line variation and the more distinguished look because the Sailor doesn't have the three tines. Every nib can be different in terms of wetness, I've already had a rather dry one too. If you get your pen via John Mottishaw he will adjust the nib exactly as you want it.

      I remember Leigh Reyes once had a delightful post about music nibs, she has several, also vintage ones. Maybe that would be helpful for you too.

  2. Thanks for the quick response. Somehow, I guessed that you have more than two music nibs. I do not know how I had this impression. I have seen the post of Leigh Reyes. Do you buy your Nakayas from John Mottishaw? As far as I read from his site, he could also increase the flexibility of the nib. Have you tried such a treatment?

    1. Hehe... I do indeed have more than two music nibs - three, in fact - but they're all Nakaya/Platinum and I also had one Sailor but barely used that one so can't say much. Most of my Nakayas came from, I usually have the nibs reground to CIs or stubs right away, that's very convenient. As for other adjustment, flexibility and such, I haven't tried them.

      Are you planning to get a Nakaya with a music nib? :)