The ARCHES®paper mill was founded in 1492, the same year Christopher Colombus reached America. Arches paper has endured through the centuries, to the pleasure and satisfaction of numerous renowned artists, art publishers and printers, who have remained attached to its outstanding qualities.
Made the traditional way, on a cylinder mould, this paper has a harmonious natural grain. Thanks to this method, the fibres are evenly distributed and the paper slackens uniformly when wet. Its composition with long fibres of 100% cotton gives the paper its strength, beauty, a natural, lasting whiteness and an inimitable touch.
ARCHES® is the only paper mill in the world to gelatin size its watercolour paper “to the core”. This preserves the lustre and transparency of the colours whilst preventing paints from penetrating the paper. It allows superposing of washes and gives it added strength to resist erasing and scratching without tearing or linting. It also allows paints to be removed, either wet or dry, easily revealing the whiteness of the paper. ARCHES®Watercolour paper can absorb a large amount of water with limited deformation. Its special composition and the treatment of the paper ensure its longevity and are also the reason why the infinity ∞ sign has been included in the ARCHES® watermark.
Whether it is artists like Van Gogh, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Braque, Miro, Dali, Lichtenstein, Buffet, or Warhol, many of those who have distinguished themselves in artistic pursuits over the last five centuries have used and trusted ARCHES®papers.
Interesting fact: The Arches paper mill provided the means for producing incunabula (books of that age), such as Dürer’s “Chronicle of Gutenberg” in 1500.
Understanding the 3 surfaces or textures of watercolour paper
Rough – A pronounced, varied texture, great for a textured loose feel.
Cold-pressed (NOT) – It’s the paper texture in-between rough and hot-pressed paper, having a slightly textured surface this paper is sometimes called NOT.
Hot-pressed (HP) – Watercolour paper with a very smooth surface and almost no tooth. Good for painting detailed paintings and creating very smooth washes.
The Not stands for “Not Hot pressed”