As a hobby, I'm starting to do calligraphy. I've bought some paper online a few weeks ago (a Rhodia paper block). Today, I found out that when the block lays on a flat surface, I see two or three small "waves" in the paper which seem they are caused by humidity (you know when you wet a sheet of paper and where it is wet it shows some "waves", well, they are similar, but extended through the whole page and not as tall). If I detach a sheet from the block it shows the very same small waves (it's not completely flat).

I also own some other blocks, and I see the same problem (although much less noticeable) in all of them. I live in a naturally humid environment, that's why my first suspect for this is humidity.

Is there a way to store paper in such a way that avoids this strange effect? Moreover, is there a way to make the block return flat?

Thanks in advance

2 Answers 2

  • You can make sure an equal pressure is applied to the individual papers or blocks while being stored by laying a heavy and flat object like a book or a similar item on top of them. Even if the humidity would otherwise warp the paper, there is no room for that now.
    You can try storing your currently warped paper blocks like this for a while, but I doubt they will become completely flush again (they would need moisture so the fibres can expand, and then shrink while the pressure is applied, but the moisture would need a way to evaporate relatively quick or the paper might end up mouldy).
    See also the first half of this answer for more information on storing paper.
  • The already wrinkled or waved paper can be straightened by moistening it and sticking it to a wooden board using water activated tape (see also the second part of this answer). After drying, you can either cut the paper out of the tape borders before using it, or write on it first, so the ink can dry completely without it warping the paper either.
  • 1
    Thanks a lot for the details! I tried to put a lot of books on the paper, but despite of that, it still has those waves. As for the second method: are you sure this would work for non-watercolor papers (the block of paper I own is 80 g/m^2, so the same weight as normal printing paper, it's only smoother than it)?
    – LuxGiammi
    Nov 1, 2020 at 9:25
  • I have another question: would it help if I put the paper inside a closed plastic bag?
    – LuxGiammi
    Nov 14, 2020 at 11:36

On my work we had this problem with plastic sheets which we send to a customer, (plastic does not warp but its static charge changed enough to give printing problems.)

The solution was to wrap the sheets in a waterproof layer of plastic in small(ish) numbers to the customer never had more than for a few days near his printer.

So yes, your suggestion of wrapping your paper inside a closed plastic bag will work, but you have to do that as soon as it reaches the house or even before you bring it into the house, so you do not enclose humidity with it.
Once the paper is warped (or humid in any other way) plastic will only enclose the 'water' and promote mold and such.

One block of paper per plastic covering, or a few sheets if you use them as single sheet. So you can keep the rest of your supplies safe.

You can put some of those packets with gel in with your paper, those that take up the humidity. I guess they will be for sale in bigger numbers, I have not looked for them.

  • Desiccant packets are very useful to remove moisture from an enclosed container. I use Interteck Silica Gel Packets to keep my 3D printer filament as dry as possible.
    – agarza
    Feb 6, 2021 at 16:48

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