The Best Chinese Calligraphy Paper - Review and Buying Guide
If someone hollered, “hand me some paper!” What would you give them? Some loose leaf paper? Who has loose leaf paper anymore? Some computer paper? Construction paper? Toilet paper? The same is true with calligraphy paper. Just saying I need calligraphy paper isn’t saying much.
What kind of calligraphy paper? Chinese calligraphy paper? Ethiopian Calligraphy paper? English calligraphy paper—seriously, can you be more specific? Even if we narrow it down to Chinese calligraphy paper, you still have to be more specific!
The type of calligraphy paper you need has a lot to do with how much practice you’ve had at calligraphy. Standard rice paper comes in either scrolls or sheets. Rice paper comes raw; which makes the paper grey or brownish yellow, or semi-raw for lighter sheets of paper.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that in our endless quest to find the best products for you so that you don’t have to do all of the searching yourself, we’ve located the best Chinese calligraphy paper. We chose a variety of paper types from standard xuan (rice paper) to specialty card stock. Whether you’ve got no skills or mad skills, you’ll find the right paper for you on this list.
10 Best Chinese Calligraphy Paper
1. Top Quality Scrolled Chinese Calligraphy Paper
The overall best Chinese calligraphy paper we chose is top of the list because of the quality of the xuan. Made by Easyou, this Seamless Raw Long Scroll Xuan Paper is heavyweight, one pound paper, made in one long scroll. There are no creases, no breaks in the scroll for traditional Chinese and Japanese calligraphy.
This super high grade rice paper is very absorbent which makes ink and paint really pop. It’s also a sturdy material made from wingceltis bark; you can paint on it or write on it without ruining the paper. Along with quality, we rank this Chinese calligraphy paper the highest because of its versatility.
Another little tidbit about the makers of this product; they are one of the biggest brand names in China for high quality xuan paper—Shingstar. When you want the very best Chinese calligraphy paper this is the one to get.
2. Wax Coated Chinese Calligraphy Paper in 5 Different Colors
Made by the same top brand as our top overall Chinese calligraphy paper, our second pick is the Waxed Color Xuan Paper also from Easyou. Also made of the highest quality, each of the colored scrolls contains 5 separate scrolls within. Colors include light purple, gold, orange, white, and green in pastel.
The only reason why we put this one at number two and not number one is that it is for serious calligraphers. You don’t want to waste quality paper like this practicing. This xuan is coated in both wax and sprinkled with gold for truly artistic calligraphy pieces.
You can use this paper for both Chinese and Japanese calligraphy whether you are doing clerical script calligraphy or seal script. We found the array of colors to be cool and unique – a feature we didn’t find in any of the others.
3. Handmade Traditional Chinese Japanese Calligraphy Paper
If authenticity is what you desire, we place this Handmade Raw Xuan Sumi Paper by Easyou high on the list for its traditional qualities. This is pure raw xuan and each sheet is handmade using traditional Japanese and Chinese calligraphy techniques.
Though xuan typically refers to rice paper in general, this paper is made of wingceltis, a type of bark which has been used for millennia in Chinese and Japanese cultures. Each pack comes with 20 raw sheets that are around 18” x 28” long.
Traditional Chinese calligraphy paper is designed to make ink and paint stand out. This paper does just that, made by another one of the big brands in China—Huiji. We recommend this grade for people with moderate calligraphy skills. You may not feel so bad if you mess up a few, but if you mess up all 20, you’re going to be mad at yourself.
4. Fine Grade Xuan Paper for Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy
Painting in this context includes painting in Chinese calligraphy. We like this Sumi Xuan Paper for Chinese Japanese Painting by Easyou. They dub this paper “meticulous style” for small character calligraphy. Made of traditional wingceltis bark, each pack contains 20 sheets that are approximately 18” x 28” in size.
One thing we found so unique about this paper is that it has been refined so thin that it is practically transparent. You can paint on it or use finger rubbing techniques to create pictures. Or you can use it to write small character Chinese calligraphy and regular script.
Texture plus quality makes this a top pick for our list of the best Chinese calligraphy paper. Huiji made this top-of-the-line rice paper and promises that each of their paper products has been handmade in Anhui, Jinxian. If you are perhaps a novice Chinese calligrapher but you want to challenge yourself with a different type of material, we suggest giving this one a try.
5. White 1 Pound Chinese Calligraphy Paper in a Seamless Scroll
Actually the Long Scroll Seamless Xuan Paper for Chinese Japanese Calligraphy by Easyou is 1.1 pounds giving it the perfect density for both paint and ink. The scroll goes on for 30 meters and is almost 14” wide. There are no crinkles or creases to get in the way as you paint or write.
Notice how bright the scroll is. This is half ripe xuan paper ground into a fine texture. Despite its refinement, these scrolls are very strong. For Chinese calligraphers, the best feature of this paper is its absorbency. It sucks up the color so that lines are bolder and colors are more vivid.
Shingstar, one of the top calligraphy paper makers in China also made this product. Guaranteed high quality and distinctive for its extra long seamless scroll, beginners can practice and serious calligraphers have a material that is designed to bring out your best work.
6. Raw Chinese Calligraphy Paper on Cardstock
Are you looking for Chinese calligraphy paper in order to create gifts for people? If so, you won’t find any better than this Raw Xuan Paper on Cardstock from Easyou. Basically 13” x 13”, each pack contains 10 cards made of genuine rice paper.
This is the perfect paper for Chinese calligraphy to sell or give as gifts. It comes mounted on a cardboard piece while the xuan is cut into a circle inside of the cardboard square. The paper itself is half ripe and ground very finely giving off a kind of old school off white color.
Who knows, you may have a really good business idea if you are pretty good at Chinese calligraphy. What you need to get started is a good, strong product to put your masterpieces on. Here is the paper that you need to make the best impression.
7. Chinese Calligraphy Paper Practice Copybook
We think any top ten list should contain stuff for beginners. In our opinion the Lady Wei Regular Script Pen Calligraphy Practice Copybook from Panda Superstore is the way to go for newbies. This book covers Chinese character writing from the obsolete to the standard.
There are different types of fonts contained in this practice book but they are all aimed at helping you get the stroke down and how each character is supposed to look. If practice makes perfect, you have pages on pages of time to practice your Chinese character writing.
Once you’ve mastered these characters, then you’ll want to take it up a notch and challenge yourself a little more and try one of the top quality scrolls above. Until then, this is an excellent starter book for those new to the art of Chinese calligraphy.
8. Handmade Half-Ripe Xuan for Chinese Calligraphy with Real Leaves
Not everyone is going to dig this paper but if you like to give gifts that are a little funky or off-beat we think you’ll really like this one. The Handmade Xuan/Sumi Calligraphy Paper with Natural Leaves from Greenter is in a class of its own. It is artistic, traditional, and high quality.
It is made of wingceltis fibers and handmade in China, and is made to properly absorb Chinese calligraphy ink without smearing it all over the place. This paper comes 20 sheets in a pack and is half ripe xuan. We also love the idea that there are natural leaves attached to each sheet.
These sheets are ideal for sending forget-me-nots and thinking of you cards that are original and thoughtful. Greenter allows you two months to try it out and if you don’t like it, you can return it easily with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
9. Simple Raw Rice Paper for Chinese Calligraphy
Looking for no thrills or spills – just plain old Chinese calligraphy paper? Here you go! It is simply called Chinese Rice Paper for Sumi Calligraphy from Panda Superstore. This raw xuan paper is over 27” long and more than 18 inches wide.
Each sheet is very durable and well suited for both writing and painting. You can get it wet and it stays intact. Whether you are practicing Chinese calligraphy ink writing or painting, this extra large voluminous set of blank rice papers are easily a top 10 pick.
What we like most about this product is that it is well suited for calligraphers at all levels from beginners to experts. You can sketch on it, paint watercolors, or practice your Chinese calligraphy. If versatility is what you want, this is the way to go.
10. Semi-Raw Chinese Calligraphy Practice Sheets with Grid in Grey
Do you need help keeping your Chinese characters straight, especially when using a calligraphy pen? These practice sheets are made for you. They come in grey and are semi-raw. These Grid Calligraphy Practice Rice Papers are the best choice if you are new to Chinese calligraphy and need practice learning the proper stroke for characters.
There are 10 sheets per pack and each pack comes with 67 grids. Because the paper is semi-raw, it has a grey tint to it which helps make calligraphy ink show up a lot darker. Semi-raw paper is best used with ink, it’s a little too thin for watercolors and paint.
If you are starting at the very bottom of the skill scale, you’ll want a paper that allows you to practice small character writing. With 67 grids per page, you have plenty of space to practice your Chinese characters over and over until you’ve got it down pat.
Check Out These Chinese Calligraphy Practice Books
1. Copybook for Chinese Character Practice
Practice makes perfect. This Chinese Copybook and Pen for Pen Calligraphy is exactly what you need to brush up on your Chinese character lettering or to learn it from scratch. Though you’ll learn standard fonts used today, it also shows you obsolete Chinese character variants and how to write them. The more time you spend practicing the better your calligraphy will look when you’re finally ready to test your hand at using traditional Chinese calligraphy paper.
2. Chinese Calligraphy Round Hand English Copybook
Learning English from Chinese and Chinese from English is another way to learn both languages. This Round Hand English Copybook from Panda Superstore is perfect for those practicing handwriting in both languages. It’s easy to use for calligraphers of all ages and at all skill levels. The book is written for Chinese readers so you may need it translated.
3. Learn and Practice the Art of Chinese Calligraphy Book
You can learn Chinese calligraphy DIY using the Art of Chinese Brush Painting book by Caroline Self et al. This book covers the gamut from traditional Chinese calligraphy lettering to drawing Asian plant life, this book contains 35 different lessons ranging from beginners to intermediate. No matter what your skill level, there is something for everyone to learn from this artful and instructive copybook for Chinese calligraphers.