Deckle Edge Paper

Deckle Edge Paper
Product: New Products

Understanding Deckle Edge Paper: A Comprehensive Guide


Deckle edge paper, also known as deckled edge paper, is a type of paper that features rough, feathered edges that are often associated with handmade or high-quality paper products. The term "deckle" refers to the frame used in papermaking, and the deckle edge is the natural result of the papermaking process where the pulp spreads beyond the confines of the frame, creating an irregular, unfinished edge. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of deckle edge paper, exploring its history, production methods, uses, and the various ways it can enhance your creative projects.

The Definition and History of Deckle Edge Paper

Deckle edge paper, or deckled edge paper, has a rich history that dates back to the early days of papermaking. Traditionally, paper was made by hand using a mold and deckle—a wooden frame that shapes the paper pulp into a sheet. The deckle prevents the pulp from spilling over the edges, but some fibers escape, creating the characteristic deckled edges. This process gives each sheet of paper a unique, organic look that is highly valued in artistic and luxury paper products.

In the modern era, deckle edges can also be created artificially using tools like deckle edge paper cutters and trimmers. However, handmade deckle edge paper remains prized for its authenticity and the tactile quality of its edges. Deckle edge paper is often used in fine art, bookbinding, and high-end stationery.

How to Make Deckle Edge Paper

Creating deckle edge paper involves both traditional and contemporary methods. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make deckle edge paper:

1. Gather Materials:

You will need a mold and deckle, paper pulp, a vat of water, a sponge, and a couching surface (such as a felt sheet).

2. Prepare the Pulp:

Blend recycled paper or cotton linters with water to create a smooth pulp.

3. Dip the Mold and Deckle:

Submerge the mold and deckle into the vat of pulp, allowing the fibers to settle on the screen.

4. Form the Sheet:

Lift the mold and deckle out of the vat, letting the water drain. The pulp should form a thin, even layer.

5. Couch the Paper:

Transfer the wet paper sheet from the mold to the couching surface using a gentle pressing motion.

6. Press and Dry:

Stack the freshly couched sheets and press them to remove excess water. Then, dry the sheets completely.

The result is beautiful handmade deckle edge paper with organic, feathered edges.

Deckle Edge Paper in Printing and Art

Deckle edge paper is a favorite among artists and printers for its unique texture and aesthetic appeal. Here are some of the ways deckle edge paper can be used:

- Printing:

Deckle edge paper is compatible with various printing techniques, including inkjet and letterpress printing. When printing on deckle edge paper, it's essential to handle the sheets carefully to preserve their delicate edges.

- Watercolor:

Deckle edge watercolor paper is particularly popular because the rough edges complement the fluidity and unpredictability of watercolor paints. The texture of the paper also helps in retaining the pigments, enhancing the depth of the artwork.

- Invitations:

Deckle edge invitation paper adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to wedding invitations, greeting cards, and other special event stationery. The irregular edges give a handcrafted, personal feel to the invites.

- Books and Journals:

Deckle edge paper books and journals have a vintage, artisanal look that appeals to book collectors and writers. The unique edges make each book a one-of-a-kind item.

How to Frame Deckle Edge Paper

Framing deckle edge paper requires a careful approach to highlight the natural edges without damaging them. Here’s a simple method:

1. Float Mounting:

This technique allows the deckle edges to be visible. Use archival hinges or corners to attach the paper to a backing board, then place the board inside a frame with a spacer to prevent the glass from touching the paper.

2. Matting:

Cut a window mat to fit over the paper, ensuring the deckle edges are visible. Secure the paper to the backing board and place the mat over it before framing.

Tools for Deckle Edge Paper

Various tools can help you achieve the perfect deckle edge or work with existing deckle edge paper:

- Deckle Edge Paper Cutter:

This tool mimics the natural deckle edge, allowing you to create deckled edges on regular paper.

- Deckle Edge Paper Trimmer:

Similar to the cutter, a trimmer provides a controlled way to create deckled edges.

- Printable Deckle Edge Paper:

Pre-printed templates with deckle edges are available for those who prefer a ready-made option.

Types and Sizes of Deckle Edge Paper

Deckle edge paper comes in various types and sizes to suit different projects:

- 5x7 Deckle Edge Paper:

Ideal for invitations and small artworks.

- Deckle Edge Paper 5x7:

Another popular size for crafts and cards.

- Cotton Deckle Edge Paper:

Made from 100% cotton, this type is known for its durability and eco-friendliness.

- Deckle Edge Cotton Paper:

Similar to the above, it provides a smooth yet textured surface.

Printing on Deckle Edge Paper

Printing on deckle edge paper can be challenging but rewarding. Here are some tips:

- Inkjet Printing:

Use deckle edge inkjet paper that is designed for inkjet printers. Ensure the paper is flat and feed it carefully to avoid jams.

- Professional Printing:

For larger projects, consider professional printing services that specialize in deckle edge paper printing.

Uses and Applications

Deckle edge paper is versatile and can be used in numerous ways:

- Invitations:

Deckle edge paper invitations are perfect for weddings, parties, and formal events.

- Envelopes:

Pairing deckle edge paper with matching envelopes creates a cohesive, elegant look.

- Books:

Deckle edge paper books are prized by collectors for their unique appearance.

- Photo Paper:

Deckle edge photo paper adds a classic touch to photographs.

- Printer Paper:

Use deckle edge printer paper for a vintage look in printed documents.

Where to Buy Deckle Edge Paper

Deckle edge paper can be purchased from various retailers:

- Hobby Lobby:

A popular choice for craft supplies, including deckle edge paper.

- Michaels:

Another well-known craft store offering a range of paper products.

- Online Stores:

Websites like Etsy and Amazon have extensive selections of deckle edge paper.

- Specialty Stores:

Look for art supply stores that carry high-quality, handmade deckle edge paper.

DIY Deckle Edge Paper

If you prefer a hands-on approach, you can make your own deckle edge paper:

- DIY Deckle Edge Paper:

Use the traditional papermaking method or a deckle edge paper cutter to create your own.

- DIY Deckled Edge Paper:

Experiment with different materials and techniques to achieve the perfect edge.

Eco-Friendly Options

For environmentally conscious creators, consider using eco-friendly deckle edge paper options:

- Handmade Deckle Edge Paper:

Often made from recycled materials, it is a sustainable choice.

- Cotton Deckle Edge Paper:

100% cotton paper is biodegradable and renewable.


Deckle edge paper is a timeless material that brings a touch of elegance and authenticity to any project. Whether you're an artist, a printer, or someone who appreciates fine stationery, understanding the nuances of deckle edge paper can enhance your creations and provide endless possibilities for creative expression. From learning how to deckle edge paper to finding the best paper for your needs, this guide has covered all aspects of this unique and beautiful material. Explore the world of deckle edge paper and let your creativity flourish with its organic, handcrafted charm.