Arches paper

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Arches paper is high quality, air-dried paper that is preferred among printers and watercolorists. It has a warm-white colour and can be found in 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 mouldmade with 100% cotton fiber content. They are acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized, and air-dried.


The history of the Arches® brand starts in 1492. That year, the Arches site completed the amalgamation of the papermaking 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 1492, Arches® has stood for professional quality for artists. Its pure cotton products, mould-made in the traditional way, have a natural grain which resembles that of hand-made 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. Arches® Watercolor papers also boast unique sizing using natural gelatine, giving the paper incomparable resistance to scratching and exceptional rendering of colours.

The Arches® range comprises the following papers:

  • Arches® Watercolour papers : chosen by professional artists since 1492.
  • Arches® Drawing papers : these mould-made papers have a puffy aspect, an exceptional feel and excellent conservation qualities.
  • Arches® Printmaking papers : these papers are used by the world's greatest lithographers, printmakers and art print lovers: Vélin d’Arches®, BFK Rives®, Vélin Johannot®, Arches® Ingres MBM®, Arches Platine®, Arches 88®.

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