COVID-19 Shipping Status

We are now accepting orders.

Our Artisan Account window of 90 days has been extended to 120 days until the end of June to accommodate customers who were unable to order from us during our lockdown.

Sri Aurobindo Handmade Paper

Established 1959, Pondicherry, India

Manufacturer and Exporter of Fine Cotton-rag Paper & Handcrafted Stationery

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions about ordering our handmade deckle edge paper and envelopes online, including shipping, returns, and import VAT.

For information with bespoke stationery or full-size paper, please read our guide to placing an offline order with us.

COVID-19

Are you currently shipping orders?

Our paper factory in Pondicherry, south India is currently in a lockdown area in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As such, we are not currently accepting or shipping any orders..

If you have an outstanding order we will be in touch to arrange cancellation and a full refund.

Are you likely to close due to a lockdown?

The local authority where our factory is based will impose a lockdown during a surge in COVID-19 cases in order to reduce the spread of the virus and the impact on local hospitals.

We aim to provide as much notice as possible before an upcoming lockdown by displaying an update on our website in order to help customers secure any required stock before we close.

Please note we cannot fulfil any orders while a lockdown is in place.

How do you ensure safety when ordering from you?

In order to keep our staff and your orders safe, the following measures are in place within our factory:

  • Our factory is closed to all visitors until further notice. Our showroom is open to customers however, masks must be worn at all times and customers must sanitise their hands before entering
  • All workspaces are sanitised regularly
  • While working, all of our team members wear masks, maintain a 2m distance from others, and sanitise their hands every few hours.

Our Range

What sizes do you make?

We make 7 sizes from place card up to A4, with select paper sizes accompanied by a deckle-edge triangle-point envelope. Our full list of sizes are available to see in our size guide which also shows the proportions between sizes.

Our "A"-sizes refer to the ISO paper size standard and not the US announcement paper size convention.

What colours do you make?

We make 8 colours including White, Ivory, Blush, and Dark Green. Our full list of colours are available to browse in our online catalogue.

What is the difference between 150gsm and 210gsm?

If you are unfamiliar with paper weights a good way to compare the difference between these numbers is with normal printer paper which you may have at home. Normal printer paper is around 60gsm, so 150gsm paper is just over twice as thick and our 210gsm paper is just over 3 sheets of printer paper.

To feel the different weights yourself, we recommend picking up a small sample of each to give you a chance to feel the weight and texture of both.

As our paper is made by hand, there is an inherent variance of ±20% in the thickness between pieces.

Do your envelopes come with paper?

No, our envelopes and paper are sold separately, allowing you to mix and match different colours and weights if required.

Why do your sizes, weights, and colours vary between pieces?

There are some differences in our pieces due to the traditional hand paper-making techniques used to make our paper.

There can be a variation in size, weight (±20%), and even colour shade between individual pieces due to a number of factors, such as the consistency of the pulp when lifting each sheet, the felts we use on a particular batch, the pressure used when pressing, and the humidity of the air when the pieces dry. Each factor causes slight variance in its own way. As such, all sizes, weights, and colours are approximate.

While we do try to control these factors, there will still be variation in the finished pieces which has been known to cause problems for very traditional print-makers who are new to handmade paper.

Do you make custom colours?

We are always exploring new shades, so if you are looking for a colour which we don't currently offer please get in touch with us to see if it's something we're already working on.

What chemicals are used in your paper?

There are two main chemicals used in our papermaking:

  1. An internal sizing agent to help bond the cotton fibres. Our internal sizing is acid-free.
  2. Dyes. The dyes used in our paper are from the textile industry as they are the most durable against fading. However, we are in the process of sourcing natural dyes.
We also treat and recycle the water used in our papermaking process, removing stray fibres and colouring. The treated water is used in the grounds of our factory, watering our gardens and coconut trees.

Do you make custom sizes?

Custom sizes are available but unfortunately have a high minimum order quantity, a custom equipment manufacture charge, and a lead-time of a few months.

We recommend viewing our sizes to check whether we make a size which suits your need.

Artwork

Is your paper suitable for calligraphy?

Yes, our paper is suitable for hand calligraphy. Our internal sizing and finish provide a fine-tooth to our pieces, making the texture nib-friendly.

If you are using our paper for the first time, we do recommend picking up a small sample of pieces in order to try your specific inks and nibs.

Is your paper suitable for printing?

Yes, our paper is suitable for digital printing and we recommend using an inkjet printer.

Is your paper suitable for letterpress?

Yes, our paper is suitable for letterpress, however we recommend our thicker grade of 210gsm pieces. Our 210gsm pieces can come up thicker, sometimes up to 300gsm, making them the better option for letterpress.

Is your paper suitable for watercolour?

Yes, our internal sizing and finish will accommodate light watercolour, however we do not recommend our paper for heavy or wet paint work.

If you are using our paper for the first time, we do recommend trying samples of pieces in order to try your specific paints and techniques.

Buying

Do you sell samples?

For customers looking to sample our paper we offer small sets of 5 pieces for each colour, grade, and size that we make.

Can you provide a quote for an order I need?

Rather than provide a quote for our core range of paper we recommend visiting our online shop where you can see our full range on display with prices and up-to-date stock availability.

We advise browsing our shop on a desktop so you can see the full menu of sizes, colours, and grades on the left-hand side.

Do you provide a discount for large orders?

We have tiered pricing where a discount is applied as the quantity of your order increases. The tiers are:

  • 5 sheets: base price
  • 10 sheets: save 10% on base price
  • 25 sheets: save 20% on base price
  • 50 sheets: save 30% on base price
  • 100 sheets: save 40% on base price
  • 250 sheets: save 50% on base price.

For customers placing regular orders, our Artisan Acccount offers additional discounts and website features.

Can I order wholesale from you?

Customers looking to order at wholesale volume can do so online using our tiered pricing mentioned above.

For customers placing regular orders, our Artisan Acccount offers additional discounts and website features.

Do you offer a discount for frequent orders?

Customers placing repeat orders of large quantities can benefit from the following additional concessions available via our Artisan Acccount:

  • A saving of 10% to customers with a 90 day order history of 1,500 pieces or more
  • A saving of 15% to customers with a 90 day order history of 3,000 pieces or more
  • A saving of 20% to customers with a 90 day order history of 4,500 pieces or more.

These savings are based on previous completed orders from the last 90 days. Previous purchases can be for any colour, size, or grade. When your account qualifies for a saving the discount is automatically applied to our online prices and is shown in your basket. Please read about our Artisan Acccount for full details.

Will I have to pay import duties or VAT/GST when ordering outside India?

If you live in a country with a low customs duty and VAT/GST threshold (also known as De Minimis import values) and your order will be shipping with DHL, DHL will pay the duty and VAT/GST on your behalf at the point of import and will then send you an invoice to be reimbursed, they may also include an administration fee.

We strongly advise checking the import duty and VAT/GST thresholds for your country before placing an order to avoid a surprise import duty or VAT/GST bill. Countries in the EU typically have a low threshold before applying VAT whereas other countries, such as the United States and Australia, are more generous allowing orders of a higher value through without charge.

Stock

Can I order an item which is out of stock?

It used to be possible to order out of stock items as "pre-orders" which would be shipped once stock that those items were replenished. However, these pre-orders were often subject to delays due to varying production times and changes to our production schedule. As such, it is now not possible to order out of stock items, however, it is now possible to register to receive an email notification when the item is restocked.

How long does it take for pieces to come back in stock?

It typically takes around 3 weeks to make a new batch of a particular colour – that includes the whole papermaking process of beating the pulp, lifting the sheets, drying, calendaring, and sorting, as well as preparing finished packs ready for despatch. However, this can be subject to delays and changes in our production schedule.

Where can I see an overview of all the available stock?

An at-a-glance view of stock availability for both handmade paper and envelopes is available at:

Artisan Account customers will see the precise amount of stock available.

How can I register for a restock notification?

Restock notifications can be created by following the steps below:

  1. When viewing an item which is out of stock, click on "Set alert" in the pack-size selection menu
  2. In the pop-up which opens, fill in the quantity you require and click "Create restock notification"
  3. Once clicked, your notification will be created. Restock notifications can be managed in your Acccount.

When will I receive my restock notification?

When an item is restocked, notifications are sent to Artisan Account customers first and then on a first-come-first-served basis to other customers in the notification list.

You will only recieve a notification if we have enough stock to meet your requirement, e.g. if you required 200 pieces and we only restock with 100 pieces you will not receive a notification.

Please note that there is a chance this item may have sold out by the time you visit our website, in which case we recommend creating another notification as we are most likely still adding more newly-made pieces.

Shipping

How long does shipping take?

International customers
For international customers (outside of india) we offer one shipping options:
  • 3 day transit via DHL Express Worldwide – US$16, trackable.
Additionally, all orders over US$75/€65/£55 ship with DHL for free.

Domestic customers
For domestic customers within India we offer two shipping options, each with a differing transit time and price:
  • 3 day transit via Bluedart Express – price calculated at checkout, trackable.
  • 7-10 day transit via India Post – price calculated at checkout, untrackable

Do you offer free shipping?

Yes, for international customers with orders over US$75/€65/£55 we offer free shipping via DHL's Express Worldwide service.

My shipment hasn't arrived, what can I do?

If your pieces were shipped to you via DHL or Bluedart, we advise you to contact DHL/Bluedart with your tracking number for an update. For some EU countries such as Greece or Italy, there is a chance DHL require additional information from you before they can clear your shipment for delivery.

How can I track my order?

For standard post shipments within India, it is not possible to track the progress of the delivery. DHL and Bluedart shipments can be tracked via the DHL/Bluedart website using your tracking code from the despatch confirmation email.

Can I change my address after I've placed my order?

If your order hasn't yet shipped we can update your shipping address for you – simply send us an email.

If your order has shipped it is only possible to change your address if it shipped via DHL – you will need to contact DHL with your tracking number to do so, please note you may face a charge for the change.

Why do orders arrive in many boxes?

Unfortunately, we have to split large orders down into smaller shipments due to export rules in India. Shipments valued over a certain amount require more strigent documentation, both for us and for yourself as the importer of the goods. As such, we have been advised by DHL to split large orders down to below this threshold amount.

Please note that if you live in a country with a low customs duty and VAT/GST threshold (also known as De Minimis import values) and your order will be shipping with DHL, you will be charged a handling fee by DHL for each individual box.

How can I return my pieces?

If you are unhappy with your pieces, or made a mistake with your order, you are more than welcome to return them back to us within 30 days of receiving your order. However, please note that we cannot offer free returns. When returning your pieces, please package them up securely and return them to us at:

SAHMP
50 S.V. Patel Salai
Pondicherry
India
605001

Please be aware of the following requirements:

  • Be sure to include your name and order number so we know to process the refund to you
  • We can only offer a full refund if we receive the pieces in the condition they were sent to you in
  • Be sure to mark the shipment as "Returned Goods" of zero value. Unfortunately, by not marking the package as such, we will incur import duties which we will have to deduct from the value of your refund.

In works, aspiration towards Perfection is true spirituality
– The Mother