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What Is Handmade Paper !

Paper made by hand using a mould (a frame covered with a flat, rigid screen or flexible screen). In both cases the mould is covered by a flat frame called a deckle, to contain the run-off of wet pulp, dipped into a vat of wet pulp, shaken to distribute the fibers evenly and drained of its excess water. The wet mat of fibers remaining in the newly formed sheet is then dried against blankets & may be hot pressed, cold pressed, or air dried.

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Handmade Paper Making Process

BEATING: Clean and cut raw material is washed and beater in a ‘Hollander Beater’. Some light chemicals like rosin soap and alum are added to give papers blot free characteristic and consistency. During this process, desired material like grass, silk, straw etc and colors are also added to the pulp.

DIPPING & LIFTING: For thin or fine papers, the pulp is diluted with water and then put into a masonry trough or vat. The lifting mold (mesh on a wooden frame) is then dipped into the trough, shaken evenly and lifted out with the pulp on it. This method is known as dipping. In lifting method, which is used for thicker or card papers, a fixed amount of pulp is poured evenly onto a mold, which is then compressed between wooden frames in a water tank and dipped. The mold is then raised, using a lever mechanism, to drain the excess water.

PRESSING: Each newly formed wet paper sheet is transferred onto a fine muslin cloth known as felt which acts as an interleaf between paper sheets. Hydraulic press is used to squeeze out excess water from a stack of ‘felted’ wet paper sheets.

DRYING: The sheets are separated and dried naturally in the shades. Solar driers are also used by some manufacturers to speed up this process and to reduce open space requirements. Felt clothes are peeled off from dry sheets.

SIZING: After drying, the sheets go under quality checking and bad sheets are removed. Good sheets are given a coating with starch to improve the physical properties of the paper. It improves erasability and permanence and prevents the paper from blotting and feathering.

CALENDARING: To smoothen the surface and to enhance the gloss, the sheets are placed between metal plates and passed through spring loaded, heavily pressured rollers in a calendaring machines.

CUTTING: Finally the sheets are cut to the required sizes and packaged. ....... more

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