Arches paper

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Arches paper is high quality, air-dried paper that is used by printers and watercolorists. It has a warm white colour and hot-pressed, cold-pressed, and rough varieties. Arches paper is valued for its durability, and is made in the village of Arches in the Vosges, France.

Arches watercolor papers are mould-made with 100% cotton fiber. The papers are acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized, and air-dried.


The history of Arches® starts in 1492 when the Arches site completed the amalgamation of the paper-making facilities around the village of Arches, south of Epinal.

The Moulins d’Arches turned to the production of high quality paper for the period's most famous writings and most beautiful art publications. The mill thus printed incunabula (the name given to the first printed books), such as the Chronique de Gutenberg by Dürer. Also printed on Arches® paper was the "Description of Egypt" commissioned by Napoleon I upon his return from his Egyptian campaign. The work was used by the royalty from 1809 to 1828.

Since its beginning, the brand has meant professional-quality for artists. Its pure cotton products, mould-made in the traditional way, have a natural grain which resembles that of handmade paper. This process also produces a more stable paper, whose form is not significantly altered when wet, because of the excellent distribution of its long cotton fibres. Its watercolor papers also have unique sizing using natural gelatin, giving the paper a resistance to scratching and providing for the clear rendering of colours.


The product range comprises the following papers:

  • Watercolour papers
  • Drawing papers : these mould-made papers have a puffy aspect, a nice feel and conservation qualities.
  • Printmaking papers : these papers are used by the world's lithographers, printmakers and art print lovers
    • Vélin d’Arches®, BFK Rives®, Vélin Johannot®, Arches® Ingres MBM®, Arches Platine®, Arches 88®.

See also[edit]