The company has 6 manufacturing units in India and one in Malaysia. The company accounts for over 50% of the coated wood-free paper market, an impressive 85% of the bond paper market and nearly 45% of the hi-bright Maplitho market, besides being India’s largest exporter of coated paper.
I have used lot of BILT made notebooks in my career for taking notes when I was not too much into fountain pens. And they have performed for me when i used roller-balls or ball-pens.
But this time I have used it with fountain pens and lets found out how it fared? And also will be showing you built and finish of the same.
The notebook comes in various variants e.g. Natural Series, Rainforest Series, Subject notebook Series and few more. They also have good quality ledger paper.
For this review I have selected BILT Matrix – 1 Subject Notebook.
The notebook comes in various sizes A6, A5, B5, and A4 and comes in option of either lined or squared graph version or unruled one.
DESIGN & BUILD :
The notebook is nice plain black notebook with good quality PVC cover with a half cut flap over PVC cover which gives the detail of product.
The first page is made of laminated paper and is address label page and which can be used down to write important contacts also. Whereas the last page is similarly a laminated one but more of an advertorial.
The note book is utilitarian one instead of the flashy ones with some artwork or some fancy colours. There is also a pen holder cut on back cover which you can see in above pic and it looks somewhat like in below pic when pen is is in place.
The notebook is Wiro-Bound which seems quite good as compared to normal spiral bound ones. Also I forgot to mention that PVC cover has rounded edges. And the sheets are perforated and can be pulled out but not that smoothly.
Overall I quite love the built and no-nonsense utilitarian design of the notebook.
PERFORMANCE / QUALITY :
I have used the notebook a lot with lot of pens escape fountain pen earlier. But there is a world of difference if you use the same with fountain pens and different inks.
As I have mentioned earlier and I believe most of us all know that the quality of paper as far as using with fountain pen is concerned is dependent on lot of parameters like ink resistance, shading, sheen, feathering, bleed-through, paper colour, smoothness or texture and few others. Few properties are also dependent with ink properties like shading and sheen.
The notebook in Review come with Bright white paper – 70gsm with light blue guidelines and the note book in review comes with square grid pattern.
Each sheet’s front side is smooth and the rear one is just a bit rough. All pens performed really well, whether be it Italic nib or fine point nib. And i actually wrote on the smoother front side of sheet and the results were quite good. There was almost no feathering except with Diamine Monaco Red which was minuscule.
As visible from images above the paper performs good in most of the parameters very well including sheening and shading but there is see through on the rear side. Though I must point out out that the bleed-through was restricted only to few places where i might have used the pen twice. Sheen was only visible with Diamine Majestic Blue. Also the J. Herbin Lie de The ink performed very well and showed tremendous amount of shading.
Performance summary is as follows:
- Ink Resistance : High
- Paper Colour: Bright white
- Paper Texture : Smooth / Rough Both
- Feathering : Miniscule
- Bleed-through : In some places
- Shading : Medium
- Sheen : Medium
The A5 sized notebook was priced at Rs. 95 which is US $ 1.5 at todays exchange rate. And makes this notebook as an amazing value for money if you intend to use only one side of the paper.
The notebook is no nonsense utilitarian like I said earlier. I think people at BILT can use better quality paper to prevent See-through on rear side.
I think there are some better options out there. I love the package as whole especially the light turquoise blue guidelines. And I will be using only one side of paper so its good for me.
My Saraswati Notebook performed better but the notebook quality was cheaper and the paper was not leaning towards grey.