Carta Varese Italian Papers

This line of papers was formerly called "Bertini" in the United States. We are now excited to be able to get them directly from Italy- which gives us (and you!) access to a much larger catalog of gorgeous prints.


The Italian Carta Varese is one of the most traditional European “fantasy-papers”. Its roots go back to original Rennaissance patterns used as decoration of chests, cradles, or combs. Carta Varese papers have been manufactured since the 17th century in Veneto becoming famous for their variety of colors and small-patterned motifs. In former times they were all hand-printed by means of a wooden printing block, bringing a mixture of tempera, dextrin and starch on the base paper. The block had to be pressed several times on a sheet in order to cover the format, but a typical blank edge on one side remained. Around the end of the 19th century lithography was introduced and by the mid 20th century the production changed to offset-printing, making the papers available to many more customers.


The printing process of Carta Varese is elaborate. The two-way and multi-colored papers are printed in a single-colour machine. Every color is printed separately, so the paper sheets run through the machine several times, a method reminiscent of silk-screen printing. This is the reason why the colors of Carta Varese are so bright and dense even though it is an offset print.


Carta Varese is not only beautiful but also substantial. The base paper is a 100 g/qm ivory paper, uncoated and acid free.