Inside Koval Sketchbooks




"We. Are. Paper."

"With more than 750 years of history, 4 production plants in Italy, more than 3000 catalogue products and distribution to over 100 countries, Fabriano paper is part of Italy’s cultural heritage and is chosen by millions of students and artists every year, in Italy and all over the world."

"Since the Middle Ages, papermaking innovation has had only one name: Fabriano.
For eight centuries we have raised the quality of production of timeless materials – cotton and cellulose – by designing incomparable products, the cornerstones of the history of paper. Fabriano paper."

Where paper made from cotton fibre was born, a brilliant idea from the Middle Ages, completely Made in Italy.
A melting pot of languages and cultures. Fabriano paper was iconic from the moment it was born. The eyes of the world were turned to a small town in central Italy, where the arts came together and became even stronger.

Take a tour on Fabriano homepage and learn more:

In KOVAL Sketchbooks we use:

Artistico is a watercolour paper made with 100% cotton produced with mould made process, a special industrial process that reproduces the typical characteristics of hand-made paper, which is why it is also called “manomacchina”. Today Fabriano enhance the value of its “Artistico” paper thanks to an enhanced quality and a presentation appropriate to its reputation. Here are the highlights of this paper: improved surface sizing, stronger surface, 4 deckled-edges, fixed-point watermark, Vegan Friendly product.

“Artistico” paper represents the culmination of eight centuries of Fabriano papermaking tradition.


The absence of acid guarantees the inalterability over time of the paper. Ideal for watercolour, tempera, gouache, acrylic, ink, charcoal, wax, graphite, felt-tipped pens, drawing and printmaking (etching, lithography and silk-screening), announcements and invitations. The watermark (only on sheets) reproduces the Fabriano logo and the inscription “50% COTTON”.

The new features implemented in Fabriano 5 Enhanced exalt the characteristics of “Fabriano 5” through salient aspects that distinguish this paper: 4 deckled-edges, new surface sizing formulation that facilitates colour lifting (colour removal), surface more resistant to repeated brush strokes, Vegan Friendly product.

The Fabriano Disegno 5 paper is mould made of a valuable mixture of cotton (50%) and accurately selected raw material.





"Situated in the ancient Cathedral City of Wells in the southwest of England, St Cuthberts Mill has been making paper since the 1700's, taking advantage of the pure waters of the River Axe.

St Cuthberts Mill based in Somerset, England specialises in the paper manufacturing of high quality artists papers. Our experienced papermakers carefully make professional mould made papers, using one of the few remaining cylinder mould machines left in the world."

Take a tour on St Cuthberts Mill homepage and learn more:

In KOVAL Sketchbooks we use:

Saunders Waterford® is an exquisite watercolour paper, traditionally made on a cylinder mould machine. This is the superior quality watercolour paper made by St Cuthberts Mill and comes with the Royal Watercolour Society’s endorsement. Made using 100% cotton, the highest quality papermaking material, to high archival standards. Each sheet is buffered with calcium carbonate to help defend finished pieces of work from discolouration caused by acids present in atmospheric pollution.

Its attractive surface is created using natural woollen felts that give it a distinctive random texture. The surface is sized in gelatine making it strong and resilient to scrubbing, and other rough treatments.


Bockingford® is a beautiful English watercolour paper, traditionally made on a cylinder mould machine at St Cuthberts Mill. This is a high quality paper made using pure materials to archival standards.

Its attractive surface is created using natural woollen felts that give it a distinctive random texture. Appreciated for its excellent colour lifting abilities. This is an extremely forgiving watercolour paper valued by professional and amateur artists around the world. Bockingford® offers quality watercolour paper at an affordable price.





"More than five centuries may have passed, but the ARCHES® philosophy remains the same: to make the best papers and enable artists to produce their finest works whilst guaranteeing them that they will last for as long as the ARCHES® papermaking heritage."

"Arches is committed to being attentive to changes in printing equipment and techniques or in artistic styles and means of creation in order to enhance and optimise the performances of its papers."

"Arches is committed to using a production process that is ever more rigorous, that meets environmental requirements and that guarantees optimum conservation of all types of creative work and works of art."

Take a tour on Arches homepage and learn more:


In KOVAL Sketchbooks we use:

Made on a cylinder mould (traditional process): quality close to that of paper made by craft methods. The slow turning of the cylinder enables the fibres to be deposited evenly and spread in all directions over the wire. The fibres are distributed evenly, the paper slackens uniformly when wet, giving the artist more control. This process can produce papers with a high grammage and exceptional resistance to scratching and erasing, when they are gelatin sized to the core. Only papermaking on a cylinder mould can produce paper with deckle edges.

Its 100 % long cotton fibre composition gives the paper its beauty, a natural, lasting whiteness and an inimitable touch as well as strength.

Exclusive to ARCHES®, gelatin sizing to the core preserves the lustre and transparency of the colours whilst preventing paints from penetrating into the paper. It allows superposing of washes and gives it added strength to resist erasing and scratching without tearing or linting. It also allows paints to be removed, either wet or dry, easily revealing the whiteness of the paper. ARCHES® Aquarelle can absorb a large amount of water with limited deformation.





"We are a chemical company that produces and supplies solutions to a wide range of industries.
We manufacture and supply synthetic rubbers, styrene plastics, plant protection products and dispersions and latexes to companies all over the world."

"We have production plants located in Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Germany and France. This is where we manufacture and then distribute our solutions – even to the farthest parts of the world."

Take a tour on Synthos homepage:

In KOVAL Sketchbooks we use:

Papermax CR Lux:
is a white-colored dispersion adhesive based on polyvinyl acetate aqueous dispersion with performance additives. It creates flexible and highly resistant, colorless bond. It does not crumble when the glued surfaces are bent. It is a quick bonding product intended for gluing normally absorbent papers and cartons.




"Balacron International is a globally operator in the field of cover materials.
With more than 90 years' experience, our company has a solid foundation created by the combination of in depth knowledge and expertise in production processes, craftsmanship and the latest technological innovation. As a result, we have the largest collection of cover materials in the world in both vinyl and textile; colours are rich and true with striking and realistic textures, and always high quality. Our design studio and professional R&D team  continuously seek new applications and groundbreaking design, leading to a collection that is forever evolving with regular new additions.  We will continue to inspire and surprise our customers with contemporary cover materials; drawing from our experience but always looking to the future."

"Balacron International has existed since 1926, and in the 90 plus years that have followed have created a strong foundation for the future. We combine extensive in-depth knowledge of production processes with craftsmanship and the latest technological advancements. An unparalleled combination as we were the first producer of vinyl-coated paper in this market and offer a total package of cover materials in both vinyl and textile."

The materials are non-phthalate, FSC certified and REACH-compliant.

Take a tour on BALACRON homepage:

In KOVAL Sketchbooks we use:

Spectrum PELLANA covers
Type of coating PVC with waterbased inks and topcoat
Certifications FSC® certified: FSC-C141806, Non Phthalate

Heritage FIGARI cover
PVC with waterbased inks and topcoat
Certifications FSC® certified: FSC-C141806, Non Phthalate




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1 Comment
I always wonder what paper are inside sketchbooks. Producers never tell us. They just say: 100%cotton or something like that. But they never give paper producer names? I can't even check it is relly cotton. Not to mention environmental standards. So, keep it up.
Mike Nowak 2021-12-19

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