Episode 82 - Why We Love Cartotecnica Rossi Italian Crepe Paper

Season #3

We chat with Martina Polelli about the history of the Italian crepe paper company, their products, and where to buy around the world.

Italian crepe paper is beloved by paper florists for good reason. We love the consistency, the quality, and the wide-range of options available for our artistry. 

In past episodes of Paper Talk we’ve chatted with the U.S. distributor of Italian crepe, Carte Fini, but we wanted to take things even closer to the source of Italian crepe paper goodness. In our latest episode, we talked with Martina Polelli of Cartotecnica Rossi, the actual manufacturer in Italy of one of our favorite crepe paper.

Martina discussed the company’s history, their product offerings, their process for choosing new products, and much more. You’ll love this little peek into the world behind the medium that makes our industry possible. 

If you can’t listen to the episode right away, here is a little taste of some of our favorite things about Cartotecnica Rossi.

Established History

The company Cartiera Rossi (which would eventually lead to the Cartotecnica Rossi we know today) was founded in 1878, and soon became one of the largest paper factories in Europe. Even over a hundred years ago customers turned their crepe and tissue paper into beautiful creations ranging from jewelry to hairpieces to flowers. Yes—while our modern industry is still growing and feels very young, crafters have been making paper flowers for a long time.

 Being a new company isn’t a bad thing. That said, wisdom does come with time. Cartotecnica Rossi has had over one hundred years to continually improve their paper, and it shows. Paper florists all over the world know that they can trust Italian crepe to be consistent and versatile. 

Paper Talk Patrons can see a photo of the factory by watching the episode on Patreon. You’ll also get a look at all of the papers Martina shared, as well as a fun demonstration of how much the 90g can stretch compared to the 60g. Not a Patron yet? Find more information here.


New Products

To the delight of many paper florists, Cartotecnica Rossi released their 90 gram crepe paper last year. If you haven’t used it yourself, you have probably seen it used by another artist. Let us tell you: we are big fans. As Martina showed us, the 90g has five times more stretch than the 60g, but maintains that delicacy that makes for gorgeous and realistic petals. 

Martina also shared with us that there will be new colors released in the 90g lineup. While she couldn’t share specifics about these colors yet, she did tell us that they surveyed artists to learn which colors they most wanted. As Martina said, “We always start by listening to our audience. As I always say, it makes no sense to offer chocolate cake to someone when they ask for apple.”

We love Cartotecnica Rossi’s dedication to innovation and to listening to customers. We’re always excited to see what they come out with next. 

Listen to the episode for more information about how they choose new products, why they decided to make the 90g, and how you can get your hands on a color catalogue to help you navigate all of the options.


Environmentally Friendly and Safe

Not all crepe paper is manufactured by the same standards. Cartotecnica Rossi is ISO 14001 certified (meaning that they meet international standards for environmental performance), and they guarantee that their dyes are non-toxic. 

Since we are constantly manipulating crepe paper with our bare hands, it’s comforting to know that our medium is not going to cause damage in the long term. If you have children or pets, it’s also nice to know that if they get into your paper stash—heaven forbid!—that they won’t be harmed. 

Our conversation with Martina covered many other topics that you won’t want to miss. You can hear all of it by listening to our latest episode of Paper Talk.


Our Questions, Answered by Cartotecnica Rossi

We gathered some questions from the members of our Paper Talk Podcast Facebook group and sent them off to Cartotecnica Rossi for answers:


  1. Why do some of the crepe paper respond to bleaching and others do not?

    Because different pigments are needed to create different colors. The pigment allows the refraction of certain frequencies of light. There are pigments that more than others are consumed with light


  2. Do you offer for sale any untreated crepe paper that is unbleached and has not been dyed?

    All the papers to be creped are treated in some way, the paper itself for its formation requires treatment with glues and other compounds. There are cards with different concentrations of pingmeti, yes.


  3. When we apply wet glue to the 180g crepe paper (the green coloured papers in particular) it tends to change the colours of the paper. Is there a way to prevent that from happening?

    It is a chemistry and PH problem specifically. These days we are analyzing the problem of greens and we plan to carry out some tests to red


  4. Is crepe paper a "green" product? Is it eco-friendly? Does Cartotecnica Rossi use an environmentally friendly manufacturing process to produce the crepe paper?

    Cartotecnica Rossi has always been committed to reducing the environmental impact of its production, not only are we ISO 14001 certified but for years we have opted to use papers from renewable sources (all our papers are FSC) and for years we have been using non-toxic dyes and respectful of health without considering that most of the components used are of natural origin. Having said that, a project is being studied to constantly reduce the environmental impact of our business. That said, we are convinced that the main source of pollution is people's bad behavior. It is apparently easier to eliminate a product like plastic than to nod off bad habits. There is a lot of hypocrisy in this regard. Let's tell the truth


  5. How can someone become an official distributor of your products?

    Contact us, and together we will evaluate the feasibility of the project


  6. Can you consider creating a crepe paper that is a "Red Ferrari" red?

    Red Ferrari is protected by copyright, we still have a good range of reds and they do not rule out that they may be improved in the future


  7. Are any of your crepe paper colourfast and/or water-resistant?

    Our papers are not color fast. We have different types of water resistant papers such as printed crepe papers and metallized papers. We also have a line of solid colored papers that do not fade but rarely sell requests because the colors are less bright


  8. Can you consider treating your crepe paper with UV protection to prevent fading?

    Yes, but it is not easy to find a truly effective product


Here’s what you’ll hear when you listen to our conversation:

  • All about the different products Cartotecnica Rossi offers.

  • The history of the company and how crepe has been used in the past.

  • How they choose new colors.

  • Where to buy their crepe around the world.

  • How to tag your creations on Instagram so that Martina sees them.


Remember to join our Facebook group where you can ask questions about how other paper florists use Italian crepe, and please consider supporting us on Patreon for even more great content like this.


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