Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hand Paper Making

Paper made from cotton
You can make paper out of a number of materials using either a prepared pulp, cotton linters or from recycled papers.  You can also make paper from plant fibres which need first to be soaked in water for up to 24 hours and chopped up before simmering in a solution of 1 tablespoon soda ash in 1 litre of water for 2 hours (a smelly process which should be done outside if possible!).  This process breaks down the cellulose from the plant fibre.  It is the prepared plant fibre that is used for the pulp. 

The pulp can be coloured using pigments or dyes, and silk threads, seeds and other items can be added for extra texture.  There are also a range of additives which can be included in the pulp to help bind coloured pigments to the fibres, whiten the pulp, create a smoother surface and make it less absorbent, or improve its stiffness, find out more about paper making additives.

A good way to learn about the process of paper making is through our Paper Making Explorer Pack.  The pack includes one A4 deckle and frame, couching J-cloths, 250g cotton linters, 15g hand-dyed silk fibres and 5g mill dyed silk waste. It also inludes the simple to follow ‘Papermaking for the Terrified’ booklet written by Kath Russon.

The Paper Making Explorer Pack includes everything you need to get started.
You can order the Paper Making Explorer Pack from our website, or browse our Paper Crafts section to buy your materials and equipment separately.

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