Ilford's Very Fine, New, Fine Art Papers

8th May 2019 Product News

We've just added a bunch of new Ilford papers. Click on the direct links here, or read on below to get a run through the range.

Plus some new canvas options:

... as well as an exciting new product that let's you turn any paper into a fine art inkjet paper:

Here's our quick summary to help you find you way through the exciting new options!



Over the last 5 years, Ilford have gone from being a non-player in the fine art inkjet market, to...well, if not the dominant player, certainly a very substantial force. They are taking up more and more shelf space in our stock-room as they flesh out their range - and people are taking notice.


Across 2018 and into 2019, Ilford have released 10+ new options - and their range is now as wide as anyone's in the industry.  Indeed, it's easy to get a little lost in all the options, so we've put together this blog to help you work out which of the new options are most suited for you.

Smooth Cotton Sonora 320gsm

Ilford's new 100% cotton, smooth fine art paper - this one has a much warmer tone than most of the smooth cotton options.  It's actually very similar visually to Hahnemühle 's popular (but sometimes difficult to feed in your printer!) Bamboo product.  Like that, and no surprise coming from Ilford, it's things like black and white portraiture, or art reproductions of charcoals and sketches, that really excel on this one.

Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Sonora 320gsm
A 100% cotton warm-toned fine art paper with a wonderfully smooth surface texture.
More info
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made From100% Cotton
  • Paper Weight320gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Smooth
  • White ToneWarm
  • Optical Brighteners?

Matt Cotton Medina 320gsm

This is the textured option to match Sonora, above.  See the masthead of this article to get an idea of the lovely texture structure (although the raking light is really emphasising it strongly of course!). 

It has similar qualities and strengths to Sonora, but like all textured papers this will work particularly well with larger prints, and/or prints with large blocks of flat tone - the texture helps fill these areas with visual interest.  It can be a little too much texture (for my taste, anyway!) on smaller prints.

Ilford Galerie Matt Cotton Medina 320gsm
A 100% cotton rag, warm toned paper with a velvety textured surface and no optical brighteners.
More info
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made From100% Cotton
  • Paper Weight320gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Textured
  • White ToneWhite
  • Optical Brighteners?

Gold Fibre Pearl

Image by Vicky Papas on Ilford Gold Fibre Pearl at CP+ 2019
Image by Vicky Papas on Ilford Gold Fibre Pearl at CP+ 2019

Whilst the naming is typically Ilford-level bizarre (they'll apparently whack the word 'pearl' into just about any product they can!) - this is a just gorgeous option, again particularly strong for black and white and toned work.  

I was hopeful this one would be a replacement for Ilford's excellent but no longer made Mono Silk.  In a way it is - it's just beautiful with classic black and white imagery - but where that had a flat gloss surface, this has a fine texture to it.  So - an alternative, if you like, but a nice one.  The Vicky Papas print at CP+ on this paper was just about the best print at the whole show, I thought.  Just lovely.

Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Pearl 290gsm
A baryta semi gloss paper with a smooth surface texture and no optical brighteners.
More info
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight290gsm
  • Surface TextureSemi Gloss
  • White ToneWhite
  • Optical Brighteners?

Fine Art Smooth Pearl 270gsm

Continuing the truly ridiculous naming tradition is Fine Art Smooth Pearl.  It's a matte black ink paper that exhibits a slight sheen.  The closest existing product is Hahnemühle Photo Rag Satin 310gsm.

Like that paper, prints on Fine Art Smooth Pearl have a classic charm to them - the closest thing I can think of is Albumen prints (prints made with an egg wash).  Hard to describe, the effect is subtle and most noticeable in the printed area, but very interesting and certainly something out of the ordinary - a useful tool in the box, on occasion!

Ilford Galerie Fine Art Smooth Pearl 270gsm
An acid free, smooth matte paper with a slight texture and satiny sheen.
More info
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight270gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Smooth
  • White ToneWhite
  • Optical Brighteners?

Crystal Gloss 290gsm

Ilford's competitor to the ever popular Chromajet Metallic Pearl. 

(This one probably should have had pearl in the name somewhere, as the base tone and sheen are 'pearlescent' in quality.  But obviously Ilford decided not to put Pearl in the name...!)

It's like Kodak's classic photo paper, Endura Metallic, only with much greater gamut and print longevity characteristics.  Of course, not quite as glossy as those original plastic photo papers - because the ink sits on top of the gloss here.  But still, visually stunning and very three dimensional results.

Think craggy landscapes or gritty warts-and-all portraits.  Metallic papers have long been popular and this is another great example.

Ilford Galerie Crystal Gloss 290gsm
A smooth high gloss paper with a beautiful metallic sheen.
More info
  • ConstructionResin Coated
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight290gsm
  • Surface TextureGloss
  • White TonePearlescent
  • Optical Brighteners?

Lustre Photo Duo 330gsm

A double sided, magazine-like semi-gloss paper with a cool, commercial tone.

  • Proofing for magazines?  Check. 
  • Commercial project work? Check.
  • Photo Book (with custom binding)?  Check.
Ilford Galerie Lustre Photo Duo 330gsm
A heavier weight, duo sided media with a semi-gloss lustre finish - perfect for photobooks and personal photo albums.
More info
  • ConstructionResin Coated
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight330gsm
  • Surface TextureSemi Gloss
  • White ToneBright White
  • Optical Brighteners?

Raster Silk 290gsm

This one is truly unique in the inkjet world (as far as we're aware, anyway!).

A paper designed to stop unauthorised scanning/re-capture of your work.  Perfect for supplying client proofs if you think there's a chance they might want to run off with your work.

The paper has a unique, tessellated texture - it is reminiscent of those classic early 20th century photo papers that had a hexagon texture to them.  The texture here is fine grained - like the compound eyes of a fly.  And specifically designed to stop naughty folks whacking your work on a scanner and making off with it.

Ilford Galerie Raster Silk 290gsm
A resin coated paper with a satin finish and a structured raster surface to prevent duplication.
More info
  • ConstructionResin Coated
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight290gsm
  • Surface TextureSemi Gloss
  • White ToneWhite
  • Optical Brighteners?

Fine Art Textured Silk 270gsm

A shot across Hahnemühle's bow, this is basically German Etching at a noticeably more reasonable price point.

A light, fine grained, classic textured paper that works with just about anything both photographic and illustrative, this one is bound to be popular.

Ilford Galerie Fine Art Textured Silk 270gsm
A warm-toned, archival matt paper with a subtle surface texture.
More info
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight270gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Textured
  • White ToneWarm
  • Optical Brighteners?

Fine Art Smooth 200gsm

A very affordable 200gsm fine art smooth paper. 

Ideal for proofing work, or for projects where you just need something lighter and/or cheaper.

Ilford Galerie Fine Art Smooth 200gsm
A warm toned, smooth matt double sided paper perfect for wedding albums and portfolios.
More info
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made FromAlpha Cellulose
  • Paper Weight200gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Smooth
  • White ToneWhite
  • Optical Brighteners?

Ilford Creative Emulsion

If you're looking to get creative, here's a fabulous new option.  Whilst there have been other products in this space, it's really the first I've seen that offers truly fine art print quality results.

Using Ilford's Creative Emulsion, you can make just about anything inkjet printable (as long as you can then get it through your printer!!).

Whether its a fine art paper that doesn't have a digital equivalent, or whether you want to get really creative and work with metal, wood, or plastics, Ilford have a solution for you.

Available in two forms - an essentially clear version that lets the nature of the underlying material show through or a white version that offers a more traditional print base and result...indeed, you can blend your own formula to get just the effect you're after.

At CP+ this year I was really stunned how good the final prints were.  With Creative Emulsion Ilford have opened up stunning new possibilities for the more creative folks out there...it will take a little experimenting of course, but that's the fun part!

Click on More Info below to see some of the printed results from CP+...

Ilford Galerie Creative Emulsion
A water-based inkjet receiving emulsion which is applied to uncoated paper to create a bespoke look and feel to your final printed image.
More info