We’re welcoming another excellent notebook and stationery range to NoteMaker: Fabriano Boutique. This range comes to us from Fabriano in Italy, a region renowned for paper production since 1264! The range is simple, colourful, varied and best of all, extremely affordable. To see how the paper in the notebooks performed, we decided to put one of the notebooks through its paces and then share a review of Fabriano Boutique Notebook EcoQua A5 in ‘wine’.
Review of Fabriano Boutique Notebook: EcoQua A5
A notebook, for such a seemingly simple product, has so many elements to consider in whether it will make it right for you. We consider styling, performance and paper.
Styling & Details
This a a simple, no-frills notebook but it is still quite elegant due to some of the styling details. The card cover has a textured finish on the outside and is smooth on the inside. The cover has rounded corners and is quite sturdy. The pages share the rounded corners and are stapled into this notebook. There are a number of cover colours in the range – all have lovely deep pigments and help deliver the impression that this is a quality notebook. It’s priced like an everyday notebook but looks better than your average, budget notebook.
Paper quality & performance
The paper in these notebooks is uncoated, 80gsm and acid free. The interior paper stock is Bioprima Book, 100% chlorine free and uses FSC-certified pulp issues from forests managed to strict environmental standards.
We tested it with several pen and ink combinations, including fountain pens with different nibs. It performed really well for almost all pens and ink combinations, with almost no feathering and minimal show-through on the back. So it’s very much a fountain pen friendly notebook.
- LAMY Safari Medium nib with LAMY T10 black ink cartridge
- LAMY Safari Itallic nib with LAMY T10 turquoise ink cartridge
- Kaweco Skyline Medium nib with Kaweco green ink cartridge
- Kaweco Skyline Fine nib with blue Kaweco ink cartridge
- Kaweco Skyline Medium nib with J.Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink cartridge
- Tombow Object Rollerball pen with Tombow black ink
In terms of how it ‘felt’ to write on the paper, it wasn’t quite as smooth as a coated stock like Rhodia. However, the trade off is the faster drying time of the uncoated stock, which is valuable if you like pens or nibs that put out a lot of ink OR if you tend to drag your hand across your page.
A couple of exceptions to note:
- The only pen/ink combination that showed any feathering (which was only slight) was a Kaweco Skyline Medium with a J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink. However, this ink flowed more heavily from the Kaweco Medium nib than the green Kaweco ink did from the same Medium nib, so this is likely more the ink than the paper.
- We experienced very slow drying on the green Kaweco fountain pen ink, but found this only occurred when using the green ink. When we later tried a blue ink, it performed perfectly. A quick Google search seems to indicate green inks do take longer to dry generally – so if you prefer to write in green fountain pen ink, this wouldn’t be the notebook for you as you’d be waiting far too long for drying to avoid smudging.
Ruling & pages
The EcoQua notebooks come in a range of rulings: plain, ruled, grid and dot grid. As you can see from the images, we tested the grid version.
The paper is a pale ivory so will suit most tastes and ink colour combinations. We’ve pictured it below next to a Life Stationery notebook and you’ll see the Life ivory colour is far more yellow than the Fabriano ivory.
There are 40 sheets, or 80 pages, in this particular EcoQua A5 range. There is another version of this notebook that’s more expensive and has an elastic closure, but it comes with double the pages.
Summary of Review of Fabriano Boutique Notebook: EcoQua A5
This is an excellent notebook option for those who want an eco-friendly notebook that’s fountain pen friendly and affordable. As they also come in A4, at only $6.95, this really does seem to tick an awful lot of notebook boxes!
- Extremely affordable. This A5 notebook is only $4.95.
- Fountain pen friendly – coped well with many pen and ink combinations.
- Environmentally friendly paper.
- Variety of ruling and cover colours in the range.
- As it’s uncoated, some resistance when writing.