Quilling paper comes in a wide variety of colors. I have found that the most popular with beginners are the packs of rainbow-colored paper, although you can buy packs with family colors of green, red, etc., which include different shades of the family color plus a few other colors that blend well with them. There are packs available with three different shades of one color, which are useful if you are going to embark on a large project. There are also specific assortments, such as Christmas colors, which consist of red, green, white, and sometimes gold and silver. Once you become really involved in the craft you may feel the need to buy papers with gilded edges.
Paper for quilling also comes in different widths, but for the beginner, I recommend starting with the widely used 3mm paper. Children find that 5 mm or 6 mm paper is easier to handle when they quill, and this size is also used for making free-standing quilled sculptures or fringed flowers. Paper 7 mm or 10 mm wide paper is useful for making fringed flowers or leaves as well as free-standing projects. For those who wish to layer their project, i.e. put one set of petals on top of another to give a more realistic effect, 1.5 mm or 2 mm paper is available.
The most important thing when buying paper is to choose the correct weight. If the paper is too thin, i.e. a lightweight paper, then you will find that it will not hold the shape. There is nothing more disappointing for a beginner than to find that what started out as a nice sharp mosaic coil has relaxed into a formless shape before it can be stuck on to the background surface, and many people have been put off the craft for this reason. When you roll a filigree or mosaic shape ir should stay in that shape, so remember, if you have problems then perhaps you are using a paper of the incorrect weight.
In Britain and Europe, paper is sold in 45 cm lengths, while in America it is sold in 60 cm lengths. So, if you are making a design taken from an American book and it refers to using half a strip, remember that this is 30 cm and not 22.5 cm. Conversely, American readers using European books need to remember that half a strip refers to 22.5 cm.