What are the Hahnemuehle Natural Line of papers? By Tim Jones

Hahnemuehle Papers, Natural Line, What are they?

Hahnemuehle Natural Line of papers, what are they?


The Natural line of paper from Hahnemuhle are a set of four papers which are made from renewable and fast growing raw materials. This means that more of the cellrose that is needed to produce the paper can be produced on less land, with less water. Hahnmeuhle says that they don’t need to use pesticides and are designed to protect valuable resources.


Hahnemuhle have told me the following regarding the new Natural Line of papers, in particular the Hemp product; 

  • On an annual basis 1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2-4 acres of trees.
  • Hemp is frost tolerant and needs only a moderate amount of water. 
  • The quality of hemp paper is superior to tree based paper. 
  • It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted.
  • Compared to wood pulp the hemp pulp offers a four to five times longer fibre, a significantly lower lignin fraction as well as a higher tear resistance and tensile strength.
  • Hemp paper can be recycled up to 8 times, compared to just 3 times for paper made from wood pulp.
  • Hemp is a major natural resource and both the economy and environment can benefit from this.
  • All Natural Line paper are Vegan friendly. 


The paper comes in four different types, Sugar Cane, Bamboo, Hemp and Agave. Each of the papers are mixed with, in different degrees, cotton. These papers are all about sustainability and environment, however they are also great  papers. 

My first impression of these papers are that they feel amazing and I am torn on which one I should be using and which one to look at first. In hand they feel beautiful. I am a strong believer that the feel of a paper has a big influence on whether you are going to print on it or not. None of these papers contain OBAs and are acid free and lignin-free making the paper perfect for Fine Art prints. 


Let's look at some prints


Like I have said the paper feels beautiful so they are definitely a paper I will use and the thought of more sustainable processes in the making of the materials. 

The first paper I want to look at is the Bamboo paper. This paper has been on hahnemuhle’s product list for a while and is now part of the Natural Line.  

Bamboo 290gsm

This paper is a smooth matt paper, it is made up of 90% Bamboo and 10% cotton. The Bamboo paper offers a natural white point so not a high white finish. As with all these papers there are no OBAs in these papers. I think the bamboo paper is a really good starting point and reference for the Natural Line of papers. But for me it is not the best paper for me within the range. This is only down to the feel of the paper; the colours are beautiful and handle black and white images perfectly. A really beautiful paper and well worth trying, don’t let me put you off it.  




Sugar Cane 300gsm

Sugar Cane is the newest paper added to the Natural Line and is made up of 70% Sugar Cane and 30% Cotton. I have to say it impressed me when I first held the paper. It reminded me instantly of our Platinum Etching paper which has a hard but delicate texture. I have really enjoyed printing. The paper especially worked well with black and white images. They look fantastic, almost giving the look of an old style print maybe from a printing press or alternative process. I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the colour as the Black and White image was so beautiful. However it blow me away, rich colours and clear definition. Really impressed. 


Agave 290gsm

Agave is a paper that was launched along with the Hemp and Bamboo in the original natural line without the Sugar Cane paper. It was my favourite until I tested the Sugar Cane papers. The paper is made up of 70% Agave Fibres and 30% Cotton. The paper has a very smooth finish which reminds me of our Smooth Cotton 300 paper but is a little stiffer. I love paper and it is beautiful to print on. Both Color and Black and White images look amazing on this paper. With the smooth texture anything with a large solid block of colour or black in it will look great. 


Hemp 290gsm

Hemp is the final paper within the Natural Line and again is a beautiful paper in hand. All of these papers just feel so good. This 60% Hemp and 40% Cotton paper has an amazing feel to it with a slight texture a little bit like Hahnemuhle’s Photo Rag 308. Black and White and colour images look incredible on all these papers. Hahnemuhle says that the Hemp content has a long standing history of use within Fine Art prints and has a long lasting archival properties. 




These papers are fantastic and it has been great to finally get to do some proper tests on them. I am really torn as to which I would choose to print some of my own work on. Currently I am really liking the Sugar Cane paper, this is mainly down to the beautiful texture of the paper. Along with the environmental credentials and sustainability these papers are perfect for anyone ready to swap out their normal papers for these Natural papers from Hahnemuhle.    


Would I use the papers? 

The simple answer is yes I would use the papers, particularly the Sugar Cane which has really impressed me and is a beautiful paper. Each of the papers work perfectly for colour or blak and white images. They make a perfect choice for anyone looking for Fine Art Archival papers that have sustainability credentials and the bonus is that the papers are beautiful a must for any photographer, artists, illustrators and printers. 


For more information on the Natural Line of papers please visit the Hahnemuhle website here and see them listed on Fotospeed.com here


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