Hi guys! If you've been following this blog (which I thank you!), you'll know I had an old post which explains where I buy from crepe paper rolls from - specifically my 180gsm Italian Rolls (if you're unsure about the crepe paper types, hop on over to this post). Its been about a year and I've learnt a few new things, so I decided to add a new post. You might see some repetitive information for any newcomers to this blog! Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!
QUICK TIPS FOR BUYING ITALIAN CREPE
1. Look out for the brand "Cartotecnica Rossi"
There's a few manufacturers of crepe papers but I think Cartotecnica Rossi stands out and I've been using CR ever since I started. This is the leading manufacturer of crepe paper in Europe and it has a wonderful range of colours, plus new shades every year! If you're buying from sites like Etsy or Carousell, make sure it states this brand or that you can see the sticker with the brand logo on the plastic wrap (in case they're trying to "trick" you with China-made crepe).
2. What are all these numbers?
You'll see that on the sticker, below the "50cm x 2.5m", 2 numbers in black. The bold number on the left represents the COLOUR CODE, while the number of the right indicates WEIGHTAGE (i.e. how thick the paper is)
For CR, their weightages range from 40gsm to 180gsm, but most artists I know usually work primarily with 60gsm and 180gsm. I myself buy only 180gsm as I'm accustomed to its thickness and how to manipulate it.
Colour codes are 3 digit numbers that don't necessarily go in chromatic order, so remember to check the colour charts carefully. 180gsm crepe rolls are codes in 500s and 600s while 140gsm is coded in the 900s. Thing is, I've realized that its impossible to get an accurate reflection of the crepe colours on your computer screen, so don't be too disappointed if the colours don't match. I often visit CR's website to compare the colours (click this link). The awesome thing is, CR releases new colours every half a year, so their codes might be a bit weird, like "16A/1" - so don't panic if you see a weird code, it just means its a new seasonal colour!
3. How much do I need and how do I keep them?
One roll makes approx 30 roses for me, if you're a beginner, I recommend buying the basic colours first: greens, yellows, whites, pinks, reds. These rolls are sturdy and keep for a long time as long as they're kept away from sunlight (some colours fade much quicker than others, e.g. watch out for dark blue!).
Alright, so where can I buy these rolls from?
A. Cartotecnica Rossi's website - 1.30 Euros per roll
So for a long time I did not buy from CR's website because there was a line on there that stated they didn't ship to countries outside of the US, Europe and Australia. Then, recently, I've seen some instagrammers not from these areas that bought from CR, and so I decided to place an order and WOAH, super fast delivery! It made me completely happy! I'm almost embarrassed not to have tried it earlier haha. :)
Before you get too excited, here are some pros and cons:
1) Cheapest Price at 1.30Euros per roll (approx SGD2.10) - since there's no markup from secondary sellers
2) Super fast delivery from DHL, tracking included and all. I received my rolls in 4 days! Plus I had text updates throughout the shipment and the choice of scheduling my delivery time via DHL's website.
3) They have ALL the colours, including the newly-launched colours, which I sometimes can't find on Etsy or other sites.
1) There is, unfortunately, a minimum order of 40Euros, which equals about 30 rolls. If you're not planning to buy such a large amount, CR won't be an option for you sadly.
2) The splendid shipping service also comes at a price, in my last order, the shipping cost was a whooping 86Euros, but considering that I was buying 42 rolls and I've had multiple bad experiences with lost packages in the past, this was a price I was willing to pay to get my papers here on time.
B. Etsy.com - SGD3+ per roll
If you’re looking to purchase rolls in a smaller quantity, I recommend looking for sellers on Etsy, just search "Italian crepe paper rolls". Most of these sellers are based in Poland and sell rolls from SGD$3.00 and up.
Be warned, the cost to ship per roll will most likely be more than the paper roll itself! However, overall, its still cheaper to buy from Etsy than buying US$7.00 rolls from Carte Fini (see C). I usually buy 10+ rolls to bring down the average shipping cost.
Remember to look out for the CR stickers, the colour codes, and weightages! Some rolls are more expensive than others because they're metallic colours, paper with gradients, etc. Not all sellers have the full range of colours, so it won't hurt to compare sellers and their prices.
1) You can buy smaller quantities!
2) Prices are reasonable
1) Shipping takes some time (depending on the seller, 3 weeks to sometimes even months). Do check the seller reviews to make sure they're efficient shippers!
2) Not all the colours are available (especially the new colours)
C. Carte Fini - US$7 per roll
Carte Fini is based in the US and they price their crepe paper rolls at US$7.00. I have not purchased from them but if you're based in the US and want to purchase just a few rolls, they'll be a reliable option.
D. LOCAL SELLER: Art Lab in Beauty World Centre - SGD8 per roll
I chanced upon a small little art store nestled in B1 of Beauty World Centre in the past which sold a handful of rolls of Italian Crepe Paper! The shop owner is called Evelyn and her store is right next to Giant. Now these rolls are priced at $8.00 each and Evelyn sells both 140gsm and 180gsm rolls. The only downside is that she has limited stock and very limited colours, but if you're looking to just buy one roll of pink or white, she'll probably have it! It's worth a shot if you're not ready to invest in shipping rolls from overseas.
E. LOCAL SELLER: Kin Soon House of Ribbons - SGD2 per roll
Now as I've mentioned in my previous post, these are NOT Italian-made, meaning the quality is MUCH poorer (I suspect they're China made). You can still use them to make flowers, but don't expect the colours to last very long or the paper to be very firm. Nonetheless, they are good for practice if you prefer not to spend so much on shipping.
Thanks for reading! Hope the information was helpful and let me know if I made any mistakes or if you have other suggestions for me! I'll try to keep updating as I go along - I'm constantly learning too!