Here you will find the materials and fillers for making handmade paper. Linters and Pulp Sheets are made from partially beaten fibres formed into dry sheets that resemble ‘blotting paper’. The Cotton Linters are sheets made from short cotton fibres and the pulp sheets from the Daphne bush can be used to make the highly textured Lokta paper.
Paper can also be made from plant fibres such as onion skins, corn husks and bark. Soda Ash dissolves out the non-cellulose parts of these materials without weakening the finished paper. Use 250g to each kg of fibre and add the soda ash to the water. Cut up the material into small pieces and slow boil in a stainless steel or enamel pan (not aluminium) for 2-4 hours depending on the fibre and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. The concoction will release a strong odour so ensure the room is well ventilated. At the end of the process, allow to cool, drain off the liquor and rinse thoroughly in clean water before squeezing out as much of the moisture as possible. The prepared fibre then needs to be beaten to promote fibre to fibre bonding and this can be done with a mallet or a mortar and pestle, or use a Hollander beater if you have access to one. A simple test to check that the fibres are thoroughly beaten is to add a pinch of the pulp to a glass jar half full of water. When the jar is shaken there should be no clumping or strings of fibre.
In addition to the linters, fibres and soda ash, the range of papermaking additives and fillers which you can also buy from this section will provide the paper maker with professional materials for producing high quality and durable handmade paper, and model makers with a superior material for paper casting and papier mache.