The first time I write in a Moleskine book with my fountain pen I was shocked to see the ink show prominently show through the back side of the page. I, like many others, may be under the impression that this is the note book that famous authors such as Ernest Hemmingway used. Not necessarily.
There is a high level of interest in the Moleskine line. Bernie Libster has a very interesting article on the company in the June 2009 issue of Pen World.
Notebooks with the same features as the present Moleskine notebooks were a popular standard in 19th and 20th century Europe. All the notebooks were not necessarily made by the company that preceded Moleskine. The particular notebook used by Hemmingway could have, as a French family-run business, located in Tours, supplied many of the stationery shops in Paris. In the 1980 the French business collapsed and it was in 1998 the legendary notebook was bought by a publisher from Milan, Italy. Modo&Modo created the trademark brand, Moleskine.
The Moleskine books we see today are designed in Italy but the actual production of the books is typically in China.
Moleskine notebooks are made with acid-free paper.
Moleskine established the brand in 1997 using the traditional black notebook with a strap that can close the book as its market image.
The company produces books for drawing, organizing, painting, travel and journals for writing. The notebooks are made with acid-free paper. So the notes you make today will last for some time. A visit to the Moleskine website shows the depth and range of types of books the company produced.
Using Moleskine Books
My use of the Moleskine books is very limited. I find that writing with a broad or stub nib fountain pen the paper results in too much bleeding through the page and in some cases, a lot of feathering of the ink. If I was a user of a roller ball, ball point pen or pencil they may be good but not for a fountain pen user.
At a meeting of the Vancouver Pen Club, one of the members had their Moleskine notebook and I wrote in the book to demonstrate some of the colours and also with width of the broad nibs in the OMAS pens I had brought to the meeting. I think the pressure of how one writes has much to play in the ability to use the Moleskine books. Carlo has a light press on his pens, and he is able to wrote on both sides of the page with no bleeding through the paper. For me, well, I press much harder and I use broad nibs. The ink went through the paper with almost every stroke. I do like the design of the books including the handy pocket and the elastic strap.