Making Paper

The word technology might seem out of place when talking about papermaking. Indeed it might seem primitive in comparison to the technology of today. However, very few inventions since paper have had such a profound effect on human kind.

Today hand papermaking has elevated the technology to an art. The results of paper makers can be seen in many shops and fine art books. Below is a brief outline for the the art of paper- making.  

Plant parts (shown here) or cloth made from natural materials (like cotton or linen) are sorted and broken or cut into small pieces. 

The pieces are placed in a kettle and cooked with washing soda or lye until all the noncellulose materials are freed from the fibers and can be washed away from the plant fibers.

The plant fibers or cotton rags (shown here) are slowly added to water in a Hollander beater. The beater pulls the long, thick strands
apart and reduces them to much thinner strands.

The beater also permits the fibers to absorb water. This beating process may require several hours to turn the plant or fabric pieces into a pulp.

Near the end of the beating period, all the large pieces of plant fibers or fabric have been reduced to very small fibers that tend to mat
together and adhere to the skin.

 Finish Making Paper >

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