One of the questions that I do get asked fairly often when someone purchases one of our refurbished typewriters is, "What kind of paper should I buy to use in my typewriter?" That's a good question!
Some paper does work better than others in a typewriter. Back in the day when manual typewriters dominated the office space, it was common to find "typewriter paper". Paper manufacturers also produced papers that had a coating on them which made erasing mistakes a lot easier than plain, uncoated paper. However, most any paper would have worked back then and that's still true today. It doesn't need to be expensive or fancy to work well in your typewriter.
Plain (20 lb.) copy paper works fine. What's my go to typewriting paper? Most often I grab whatever happens to be in my inkjet printer (the printer I hate). It all feeds fine through my machines and the results are more than acceptable. If you're just getting started with your typewriter, just use whatever printer paper you have on hand and see how that works for your needs.
Heavy but not too heavy. I do like paper that is a bit heavier than just normal copy paper. I think it is nicer for the recipient to receive, especially when taking time to type a letter to a friend. Hey, we want it to be memorable, right? However, while I've had no trouble using 24 lb. paper, heavier papers can be more challenging, especially in portable typewriters. Lots of our vintage typewriters don't have the best rubber in them. Platens and feed rollers harden over time and don't grip the paper with the same tenacity they once did. With that being said, winding in a sheet of really heavy paper can be a chore. Sometimes the heavier papers won't advance correctly in the typewriter. Experiment with some different weights of paper and see what works best for you. I have experimented with "Laid" paper and found that it didn't work too well because of its texture.
Unusual Paper. I've heard of people using all kinds of different papers in their typewriter. I do know some street poets use a roll of receipt paper to write poems on. I like that idea a lot. Of course, there's all sorts of colored paper and paper with various patterns and designs that are available today. Try out some different paper types and figure out which are your favorites.
My favorite? When writing to one of my pen pals, I use paper by Southworth. It's nice paper that comes with matching envelopes. I bought their Resume paper most recently in ivory and have really enjoyed using it! Plus, it's 100% cotton and acid free!
What's your favorite paper to use in your typewriter?