So much goes into making a Folio book special, but there’s one feature above all that the reader will connect to – the paper. At the turn of every page, the texture and shading needs to be just right. Which is why we source ours from a small number of European mills which consistently produce the highest quality papers.
Beyond the look and feel of the paper, another factor comes into our selection – now more than ever, Folio books are all produced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. FSC certification shows that the paper comes from environmentally and socially responsible sources and is traceable right back to its origins.
The majority of our text papers, the ‘Abbey’ range, are produced at a paper mill in western Sweden which has more eco credentials than I ever knew existed: FSC, PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), Nordic Swan … the list goes on.
Paper-making requires a lot of water. This mill uses a local source and a system that requires much less water than the industry average. What’s more, less energy is used to heat the water and less water needs to be purified. And while huge machines churn all day and night to produce thousands of tonnes of paper a year on a vast scale, at the end of it is this surprising scene.
These sets of ponds are part of the mill’s water purifying system where the water is returned to the original river from which it is taken. The result is a home to fish, frogs and crustaceans, and the water is fit for human consumption.
When selecting FSC paper for our titles, the actual ingredients of these papers can be quite surprising. The flecked Favini paper used for Matthew Richardson’s striking binding design for The Outsider contains algae harvested annually from the Venice lagoon, which not only helps to prevent the lagoon from clogging up and damaging its fragile ecosystem, it also cuts down on the amount of pulp used to produce
Some of the other remarkable ‘eco’ papers in this range contain waste matter from the processing of lemons, apples, oranges and grapes. Maybe it is time for a reissue of Cider with Rosie, or The Grapes of Wrath, perhaps, all bound up in a suitable vintage?