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Natural fibers such as cotton are used in some cases because its fibers are very strong. This makes it an excellent choice for documents that may need to be archived. This strength, combined with its unique feel is why cotton paper is popular for letterhead and other corporate stationary products.
Since most paper starts as logs, there is a significant amount of bark. Bark does not work well for making paper, so the first step in the mechanical pulping process is to remove the bark from the logs. This excess material becomes a biomass energy source to help power the paper mill.
Like mechanical pulp, the process begins with whole logs. These logs are cut into small chunks of wood that are about 1/2" to 1" long, and 1/4" to 1/2" thick. This is done with a large scale version of the the wood chippers that landscaping companies use.
The majority of the waste in the process is black liquor - but these facilities typically operate in a "closed loop" system. The inorganics (chemicals) are recovered and re-used for the next batch of paper, while the remainder of the liquid (natural biomass) is converted to energy to operate the plant. In most cases, these more power is generated than is needed, so this creates an environmentally friendly power source for local communities.
Pulp is mixed with water as well as additional fillers and additives and then pumped onto a belt. This belt is typically made of a mesh that encourages all of the fibers to go in one direction. Much like wood, paper has a grain direction. The orentation of the fibers on this belt dictates the "grain direction" of the paper.
In the "Wet Press Section," the pulp moves off of the mesh belt onto a felt belt. While the felt used to be made of wool, these days synthetics are more normal. The pulp moves through a series of high pressure rollers designed to push the liquid into the felt.
Once the pulp enters the "Dryer Section," it has started to take the shape of paper. This part of the machine weaves the web of paper through a series of heated rollers. Felt belts are also used in this part of the machine to give the moisture in the paper somewhere to go.
The last part of the machine is called the "Calendar Section." It uses rollers mounted opposite of each other to put pressure on the paper and create a smooth finish. The more of these rollers there are, the smoother the paper will be.
There are several ways to make paper glossy. These include supercalendering and coatings. Supercalendaring is used to add gloss to less expensive papers made from mechanical pulp, while coatings are used to add brightness and shine to higher quality stocks.
The final section in a paper machine is the "Calender Section." This is where paper goes through a series of rollers that squeese the paper to make it really flat. What makes a paper "supercalendared" are a series of chrome rollers that spin faster than the paper is moving. If you can think of these rollers as tires on a car, and the paper as a road, then the rollers are doing a "burn out" on the paper.
Drawing, printmaking, and watercolor papers are best because they are generally made from stronger fibers (such as cotton rag, and not chemically treated tree fiber). Your fiber/scrap choice and its characteristics dictate the quality of the final sheet.
Have a storage tub hanging around? Those concrete mixing vats from the hardware store also work. Fill up the tub with your blended pulp, about 1/3 to 1/2 way. Add more water to the vat. The more pulp to water, the thicker your paper will be.
Place pellon or paper towel on top of your freshly couched sheet. With a sponge, press gently at first, then press firmly with as much pressure as possible. Have a rolling pin or old paint roller? Use that to press your paper even more.
Hi, this was indeed an awesome tutorial. Inspired by your articleI have also started making recycled paper from old newspaper. However can you please help me understand how can i maintain the uniform thickness of the handmade papers. Since we are taking out the pulp during each dipping of mold the water and pulp ratio changes and i end up getting thick paper initially and thinner ones later. Please guide. Thanks
To color pulp, many hand papermakers use water dispersed pigments that actually attach themselves to the paper pulp fibers with the help of a retention agent. These pigments are sold by suppliers such as Carriage House Paper or Twinrocker -additives/pigments and =Additives-Colorants&grp=Pigments
Hello, great tutorial! I have two questions. Which drying method produces the flattest paper, exchange drying or surface drying? Secondly, do you think polyester felt sheets such as these ( -felt-sheets.html) would work for couching?
My kids and I used your instructions to make paper on our own at home in practice for teaching the Juniors in our Girl Scout troop. It worked really well. After looking at a number of websites and even the Get Moving Journey book from Girl Scouts, yours were the best, most easy-to-follow instructions, especially with your moving pictures. Thank you.
Unryu is usually made from kozo aka mulberry fibers (Carriage House Paper and Twinrocker Paper both carry this fiber). What differentiates it from regular kozo sheets is that longer, less beaten fibers are included in the pulp, giving it that feathery look. As for paper lanterns, Paper Illuminated by Helen Hiebert is a great resource book for paper lamp-making.
Hi . Your instructions are easy to understand and to follow. I am working on a science project which requires making papers from other plant fibers such as coconut husk, oil palm husk, corn husk and etc. Do u have any useful links for me and could you please guide me on how to do the pulp bleaching? Thank you in advance.
Hi! Love this tutorial! I am having a few issues when I move the paper from one surface to another- from the mould to the blankets, from the blankets to the plexi. The paper towels are sticking to the paper and ripping it and then when the paper lays on the blanket or the plexi, air bubbles form. Anything I can do to prevent this? I would like the smoothest, thinnest paper I can make. Thanks!
thanks so much, I signed up for your newsletter, looking forward to learning while I wait for the weather to warm up as I think paper making might work better outside or at least in the garage with all that water etc.
Thank you for sharing this information with us all, just one question can the paper be folded? if not can one add something to give it flexibility? also would you know of any natural glues that one can use on the paper as well?
The papermaking process developed in east Asia, probably China, at least as early as 105 CE, by the Han court eunuch Cai Lun, although the earliest archaeological fragments of paper derive from the 2nd century BCE in China. The modern pulp and paper industry is global, with China leading its production and the United States following.
The oldest known archaeological fragments of the immediate precursor to modern paper date to the 2nd century BCE in China. The pulp papermaking process is ascribed to Cai Lun, a 2nd-century CE Han court eunuch.
It has been said that knowledge of papermaking was passed to the Islamic world after the Battle of Talas in 751 CE when two Chinese papermakers were captured as prisoners. Although the veracity of this story is uncertain, paper started to be made in Samarkand soon after. In the 13th century, the knowledge and uses of paper spread from the Middle East to medieval Europe, where the first water-powered paper mills were built. Because paper was introduced to the West through the city of Baghdad, it was first called bagdatikos. In the 19th century, industrialization greatly reduced the cost of manufacturing paper. In 1844, the Canadian inventor Charles Fenerty and the German inventor Friedrich Gottlob Keller independently developed processes for pulping wood fibres.
Before the industrialisation of paper production the most common fibre source was recycled fibres from used textiles, called rags. The rags were from hemp, linen and cotton. A process for removing printing inks from recycled paper was invented by German jurist Justus Claproth in 1774. Today this method is called deinking. It was not until the introduction of wood pulp in 1843 that paper production was not dependent on recycled materials from ragpickers.
To make pulp from wood, a chemical pulping process separates lignin from cellulose fibre. A cooking liquor is used to dissolve the lignin, which is then washed from the cellulose; this preserves the length of the cellulose fibres. Paper made from chemical pulps are also known as wood-free papers (not to be confused with tree-free paper); this is because they do not contain lignin, which deteriorates over time. The pulp can also be bleached to produce white paper, but this consumes 5% of the fibres. Chemical pulping processes are not used to make paper made from cotton, which is already 90% cellulose.
There are three main chemical pulping processes: the sulfite process dates back to the 1840s and was the dominant method before the second world war. The kraft process, invented in the 1870s and first used in the 1890s, is now the most commonly practised strategy; one of its advantages is the chemical reaction with lignin produces heat, which can be used to run a generator. Most pulping operations using the kraft process are net contributors to the electricity grid or use the electricity to run an adjacent paper mill. Another advantage is that this process recovers and reuses all inorganic chemical reagents. Soda pulping is another specialty process used to pulp straws, bagasse and hardwoods with high silicate content.
There are two major mechanical pulps: thermomechanical pulp (TMP) and groundwood pulp (GW). In the TMP process, wood is chipped and then fed into steam-heated refiners, where the chips are squeezed and converted to fibres between two steel discs. In the groundwood process, debarked logs are fed into grinders where they are pressed against rotating stones to be made into fibres. Mechanical pulping does not remove the lignin, so the yield is very high, > 95%; however, lignin causes the paper thus produced to turn yellow and become brittle over time. Mechanical pulps have rather short fibres, thus producing weak paper. Although large amounts of electrical energy are required to produce mechanical pulp, it costs less than the chemical kind. 2b1af7f3a8