The grain of a paper is the texture of its surface, which can be of varying degrees of smoothness, the smoothest being satin grain. ARCHES® papers are known for their smooth, regular grain, obtained by making the paper on a cylinder mould and thanks to the choice of the hand-woven felt, which naturally impresses its surface onto the sheet.
Its 100 % long cotton fibre composition gives the paper its beauty, a natural, lasting whiteness and an inimitable touch as well as strength.
Exclusive to ARCHES®, gelatin sizing to the core preserves the lustre and transparency of the colours whilst preventing paints from penetrating into 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® Aquarelle can absorb a large amount of water with limited deformation.
The watermark is obtained by fixing a brass motif on the wire of the cylinder mould.
There will be less pulp at this place and the motif will be visible when the paper is held up to the light. These are wire watermarks. Shadecraft or shaded watermarks are obtained by impressing a relief image in the metal screen onto which the pulp fixes in the first stage of the papermaking process. The design will generally be a name, a monogram, a date, a drawing or a set of initials. The purpose of a watermark is to authenticate the paper.
Calcium carbonate is added to give the paper an alkaline reserve that protects it against acid attack from the environment.