(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
The Midori MD Cotton Notebook is a thread-bound notebook with 88 pages made from 20% cotton pulp. Like other MD notebooks, this one is minimalist in presentation, with a cardstock cover and see-through tape over the binding. It also has a ribbon bookmark.
Unlike the MD notebooks with Tomoe River paper (see review here), the cotton paper has a bit of texture.
This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the cotton fiber absorbs ink more quickly than the Tomoe paper, so you won’t experience as much smearing. Fortunately, the paper’s absorbancy does not lead to bleeding or feathering even with the widest fountain pen nibs.
The paper is thin enough that fountain pen ink shows through (very slightly), but I didn’t experience any bleed through with regular writing.
When I tested the paper with my widest ruling pen and ink splats, I did experience bleed through, but you really have to lay a good bit of wet ink down for this to happen.
I also tested the paper drawing a picture with ink and using a water brush to blend the colors. The paper wrinkles up with moisture, so I wouldn’t recommend it for watercolors unless you don’t mind the wrinkling.
For writing, however, this is excellent paper. I wrote a portion of the first part of The Scarlet Letter and had no problems with fibers getting caught in the tines, ink bleeding, or smearing.
My one complaint about this notebook is that it’s not perforated, so if you want to remove pages, you wind up with a jagged edge. Other than that, the binding is tight and the notebook lays flat.
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