Handmade Paper Making

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is a spin-off to an earlier thread about practical skills. Please use the following link as a guide:

http://www.intersurf.co/~redstic/Paper/Hand.htm (An Introduction to Making Paper by Hand.)

I would add the following tips:

1.Making the Mould & Deckle.It is easier to knock up two identically sized rectangular wooden frames covering one with the netting as for the instructions on the embroidery frame.

2.The Couching Cushion.(I will not make any comment!) My suggestion would be to get an old woollen blanket.Rip it into pieces at least one inch larger than your mould all the way round.Wet the pieces of blanket & then wring them out by hand or put them in the spinner.The couching cushion must be able to function by allowing the rapid movement of water up & down through the pile.At the same time,it must not stick to the newly formed sheet of paper. If you use newsprint I would imagine the whole thing would become a sopping mess and the newsprint ink would be everywhere.

3.Preparing the pulp.You can add starch at this time or can make up a starch solution & paint it on the dried sheet of paper.Other sizes that can be applied to the surface include food gelatine (3 - 6%)or toilet soap or gum arabic solution.Some recycled papers may contain residual size.

4.Choice of Pulp ---------------- Nowadays paper is designed to fulfill a specific purpose.eg.Paper used in bag making must have a high burst strength,Paper wrappings for fats & butter must be resistant to oil penetration,loo paper must distintegrate readily in water whereas kitchen towel should have strength when wet. So if you are going to make paper for a specific purpose,make it from old paper that had similar properties.That way the original papermakers have done all the tech.work for you. Don't try using glossy magazines,heavily printed paper or newspaper.The ink will come off all over the place & stain all your equipment.Glossy magazine paper does not actually contain that amount of papermaking fibreas it is heavily coated with all sorts things to improve the print quality. From past experience,most beginners find it difficult to couch or tranfer the sheet from mould to the felts.This is because either: a.The felts are too wet or too dry (The washing machine spin gets them just right for you)

b.You let the mould drain too long or not long enough. Solution. 1.Let the paper dry on the mould. 2.Blot the new sheet when it is still on the mould.You should be able to get it off eventually. 3.Transfer the paper onto your felt by pressing down with your hand onto the curtain netting.

PRESSING. If you are only making 10 or less sheets at a time,cover with something hard(like a piece of wood)& jump up and down on it to squeeze out the surplus water.Alternatively you can make a simple press with a car jack.The aim is to remove sufficient water & increase the density of the sheet so that you can peel it off the blanket when it is still damp. DRYING. Place between each sheet between some absorbent material such as cardboard or J.Cloth & weight..say with bricks or container full of water or beans.Leave 6 hrs + & then change into fresh dry board or cloth. Paper should be dry 12 hours later. Alternatively paste onto window pane & allow the sun to dry it.

To catch a glimpse of us making paper check out:


-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), March 27, 1999


Sorry make that http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~griffen

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), March 27, 1999.

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