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Comparing different kinds of Crepe Paper

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

*DISCLAIMER (from 2021): Hi guys! This post was written in 2016 when I first explored crepe paper and as some of my kind readers have pointed out, this post is indeed outdated and there are many exciting new crepe paper weightages produced by Cartotecnica Rossi! Please visit their website for the most updated information, and use this post just as a helpful guide if you're just starting out to learn more about the basics. Enjoy!

I’ve been making paper flowers for more than a year now, and two questions I always get asked are "What kind of paper do you use?" and "Where can I buy them?". There are so many different kinds and qualities of crepe paper, its easy to get confused and intimidated, and so I hope this post helps, especially for my fellow Singaporean crafters who are searching for crepe paper.

In this post, I’ll be comparing 3 kinds of Crepe Paper: Italian Crepe (180gsm), Doublette Crepe, and a brand of Crepe Paper I found in Singapore called Stilcarta. *Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experiences and preferences as a paper artist. I am definitely NOT an expert - there are many paper florists out there who can work magic with all kinds of paper, whereas I’m pretty comfortable with my Cartotecnica Rossi 180gsm rolls. If you’re an aspiring paper florist, I encourage you to experiment and try different kinds of paper to see which one works best for you!

Italian Crepe Paper, or Florist Crepe, comes in a large variety of colours and is usually packaged as a large roll (250cm x 50cm). Italian Crepe are made in different weights, just search online and you’ll find 60gsm, 100gsm, 140gsm, 160gsm and 180gsm options (gsm = grams per square meter).

Now to understand why there are different weights, it’s good to know how crepe paper is actually made. I won’t get into the technical jargon but to put it simply - crepe paper is made from several layers of tissue paper that is ‘glued’ together and then creased (which is why crepe paper has vertical lines, which is called the grain). Now, weight is important to me because the weight affects how far the crepe paper can be stretched. Since stretching is what gives our crepe paper petals its 3-dimensional curve, the more ‘stretchy’ the paper is, the more artistic potential the paper offers! See below for a chart of the approximate stretchabilities of each weight. 60gsm: 140% elongation 140gsm: 180% elongation 180gsm: 260% elongation (From Cartotecnica Rossi’s Website)

If I’m not wrong, Doublette Crepe is made in Germany. It comes in a thin flat packet (25cm x 100cm) and it is pretty unique for having a different colour on each side. Their colours are also of the softer and more nuanced shades. They’re very smooth to touch and their creases are hardly visible. I'm not too sure about the history, but I believe these were made specially for flower-making.

I found this crepe paper from Kin Soon House of Ribbons. They come in rolls of 50cm x 250cm too. It’s the closest I’ve found locally to Italian Crepe (other crepe papers sold in local art/ bookstores have no creases and can hardly be stretched at all!) and the reason I’ve included it here is because I actually started my paper flower journey with these! They aren’t of super high quality - once you’ve started using Italian Crepe, you won't want to go back to these! They don’t stretch very far and the colours fade quickly. Nonetheless, they are cheap, available in Singapore, and they’re perfect to practise on before you move on to the higher quality paper. Now let’s do the comparison.

1) Texture & Strength

Italian Crepe is thick and has rough, visible creases. While your flowers may look realistic from afar, on closer inspection the creases might not be aesthetically pleasing (I've had customers feedback that they don't admire the creases). Nevertheless, this paper is strong (it can survive a little rough handling) and they hold their shape well even after several months.

Doublette Crepe is smooth and soft, resulting in very delicate and realistic blooms. Unfortunately, this paper tears easily (I’ve torn a handful of petals by accident when making roses) and its shape might not hold as well or as long as Italian Crepe. The resulting blooms are hence extremely fragile and must be handled carefully.