Cotton Rag Khadi Paper Sketchbook Options at Bound by Hand

by Susan Green April 28, 2020

Cotton Rag Sketchbook for pencil and watercolour, Bound by Hand

Cotton rag Khadi paper sketchbook options handmade in the Bound by Hand studio

I love Khadi paper - aka cotton rag paper - because it's incredible tactile; it's a pleasure for me to handle whilst making, and it's a pleasure for you to use as an artist. Plus, it's very pleasing to look at - cotton rag paper is handmade, so no two pages are exactly the same, and it has attractive deckle edges because it's made in a mould. And the icing on the cake, for me, is that it's environmentally sustainable - it's made from recycled textile manufacturing waste (e.g. t-shirt offcuts) that would otherwise end up in landfill.

I use cotton rag paper to make a number of different sketchbook styles for artists because it's strong and it takes dry to wet mediums, including watercolour. You can even stitch into the paper - there are some images of creative techniques below (and the image at the top of this page shows Derwent Graphitint pencils used wet and dry).

Scroll down to learn a bit about the different types of cotton rag sketchbook you can buy in my online shop.

Japanese Stab Stitch sketchbooks

Cotton Rag Stab Stitch Sketchbooks with Japanese Dictionary of Colour CombinationsThese cotton rag sketchbooks are stitched in the traditional Japanese Hemp Leaf pattern

Japanese Stab Stitch Sketchbook held open, showing cotton rag khadi paper pages

Wabi Sabi lay-flat sketchbook

Cotton Rag Sketchbook with linen ribbon, medium shown on open page of large.These sketchbooks are held closed with a linen ribbon. Like cotton rag paper, linen is an eco-friendly material.

Stitching in cotton rag sketchbook from Bound by HandI recently began experimenting with stitching into my cotton rag sketchbook. It works really well!

Cotton Rag Lay Flat Sketchbook Large, Medium, Small

Concertina Sketchbook: 200gsm cartridge pages & khadi covers

A6 Concertina Sketchbook: Cotton Rag and Heavyweight Cartridge pagesThese concertinas are stitched at their centre page, each 'arm' extends outwards and folds in when you've finished using it.

Concertina (Accordion) Sketchbook shown closed for travel
  200gsm cartridge pages are suitable for all dry mediums, ink and light watercolour. You could decorate the cotton rag covers, too.

Heavyweight cartridge pages of handmade concertina sketchbookWith 12 pages (and another 12 at the back) this concertina book extends to over 1 metre!

Exciting ways to use cotton rag paper

I enjoy working with cotton rag paper so much that I'm almost always thinking of new ways I can put it to use. I'm currently working on concertina (accordion) books with cotton rag pages and covers, and I've got a few more ideas, too. Why not sign up to my newsletter so you know when they're available? Click here.

If a paperback option doesn't appeal to you, I also bind Sketchbooks with leather and cork covers - scroll down for the full collection.

Happy making, drawing, painting and stitching, everyone!

Susan x
+44 (0)77548 759371

P.S. You might also enjoy reading Eco-Friendly Handmade Books

Susan Green
Susan Green


Also in News

Bookbinder Susan Green of Bound by Hand
Covid-19: still making, still delivering

by Susan Green March 23, 2020

Hello friends of the handmade book. I hope you're doing okay. I hope you have all that you need. I'm still here. I'm still making. I'm still delivering orders - directly to your loved ones. Special days and special people can still be celebrated.

Continue Reading

Crawford Waxed Linen Thread
Update on Crawford Waxed Linen Thread

by Susan Green March 12, 2020

After nearly 6 years, I will no longer be offering Crawford Waxed Linen Thread for sale. If you need to stock up here's what I currently have left...

Continue Reading

50% Sale on leather journals and sketchbooks at Bound by Hand
50% New Year Sale on Leather Journals & Sketchbooks

by Susan Green January 02, 2020

I truly believe in making everyday life special by using beautiful products that bring us pleasure. I hope my sale helps you treat yourself to that leather journal or sketchbook that you might have had your eye on for a while.

Continue Reading

Size Guide

Use this Size Guide to check the dimensions of the books you're considering purchasing (dimensions are external and refer to the closed book unless otherwise indicated). If you'd like some guidance with selecting the correct size, feel free to contact Susan the bookbinder: email or call +44 (0)7748 759371

Leather Memory Books, Wedding Guest Books, Journals and Sketchbooks
A4 Large Portrait 12 inches or 305 mm 8.5 inches or 215 mm 1.5 inches or 38 mm
A4 Large Landscape 8.5 inches or 215 mm 12 inches or 305 mm 1.5 inches or 38 mm
A5 Medium Landscape 6 inches or 155 mm 8.5 inches or 215 mm 1.5 inches or 38 mm
A5 Medium Portrait 8.5 inches or 215 mm 6 inches or 155 mm 1.5 inches or 35 mm
A6 Small Landscape 4.5 inches or 114 mm 6 inches or 155 mm 1 inch or 25 mm
A6 Small Portrait 6 inches or 155 mm 4.5 inches or 114 mm 1 inch or 25 mm


Miniature Journals
 One Size 3 inches or 76 mm 2.25 inches or 60 mm 20 mm or 0.75 inches


Marbled Notebooks
 A4 Large 297 mm or 11.5 inches approx. 205 mm or 8 inches approx. 64 pages
A5 Medium 210 mm or 8.25 inches approx. 145 mm or 5.75 inches approx. 56 pages
A6 Small  150 mm or 6 inches approx. 100 mm or 4 inches approx. 48 pages
A7 Pocket 106 mm or 4.25 inches approx. 72 mm or 2.75 inches approx. 40 pages