Bespoke Papermaking

We are flexible and can make bespoke papers in connection with our distribution partners. Our specialities are making high quality, archival papers. The paper would be mould made, and felt textured to give it a beautiful surface finish.  

Areas of expertise include watercolour papers, printmaking papers, inkjet papers, book papers, conservation papers, illustration papers, security papers. We’ve also made textured board for high-end speciality packaging.
We have onsite paper chemists, who are experts in formulating brand new papers, or modifying existing papers to match client’s exact requirements. Our papermakers are skilled artisans, who enjoy the challenge of creating a new paper!

To give a flavour of our abilities

Size: Bespoke sizes up to 1.524m (60”) in width
Weight: From 115g/m² to 650g/m²
Shade: Experts in colour matching the exact shade using lightfast pigments
Ingredients: Woodfree, cotton linters, linen, esparto, hemp, bamboo, synthetic fibres etc
Watermarks: Unique design embedded into the sheet (large set up investment required)
Embossed marks: Unique design stamped into the surface (small set up investment required)
Deckle or cut edges: 4 deckle edges, 4 cut edges, or any combination of the two

To create bespoke paper the minimums vary depending whether your paper is made alongside one of our existing stock lines. On discussing your project, we can advise you on the actual minimums, but they can range from 500kg to 3 metric tonnes, depending on the amount of modifications required
(500kg = 3916 sheets in 300g/m² 560 x 760mm).

Case study – High quality calendars

A renowned printing company was looking for a beautiful textured paper to print extremely high quality calendars. They wanted a paper that had all the hallmarks of a quality artist paper, and the sheet had to be suitable for offset litho printing.

They loved the look and feel of St Cuthberts Mill’s Somerset printmaking paper, but it wasn’t entirely suitable for offset litho. The printer needed a paper with improved holdout and increased surface strength.

Solution: We ran a special bespoke making, where ink holdout and surface strength was improved. The modified paper was based on Somerset Velvet Radiant White 250g/m² with 4 deckle edges.

Case study – Letterpress printing a 100 year old book

The Centenary edition of ‘The Book of Sark’ by William Toplis was being re-printed using the original 100 year old copper half tone printing plates to print the 21 colour illustrations, and the text produced as an exact replica of the original by letterpress. The publisher was extremely keen to source a paper suitable for the letterpress text that was archival, and a close match to the original 100 year old book as possible.

We were privileged to see and analyse one of the rare original copies of the book, after which we recommended a modified version of one of our Somerset papers. The colour of the paper was very important to the publisher, as it had to exactly match the original. Caliper (thickness) of the paper was also of critical importance.

Solution: We created a paper based on our Somerset Satin 250g/m² Soft White, with an amendment to the shade, and a bespoke size of 700 x 1000mm. We deliberately made the paper to strictly controlled caliper limits, as the thickness of the sheet was of critical importance.

Case Study – Formulating a new watercolour paper
John Purcell Paper, working in conjunction with the President and Council of The Royal Watercolour Society commissioned St Cuthberts Mill to formulate a brand new watercolour paper.

The paper had to be different from other available watercolour papers. It needed to be extremely high quality to reflect the ethos of the RWS. They were very keen to have their own watermarks and embossed marks on the paper, to prove its authenticity as ‘the RWS paper’.


Following extensive trials, a brand new watercolour paper was formulated using a cotton and linen furnish, with gelatine surface sizing. The customer approved the paper, and they invested in bespoke watermarks and embossed marks. They also commissioned two different paper sizes, both with 4 deckle edges (a Royal size and an Imperial size).

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