Paper Making Additives

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These papermaking additives provide the serious handmade paper maker with the professional materials for producing high quality and durable handmade paper. The additives can also be used by model makers and sculptors for paper casting and papier mache.

Here is an overview of each of the papermaking additives included in this section:

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    • The acid free CMC (Carboxymethyl cellulose) can be added to pulp to promote bonding within the fibres.
    • Soda Ash is used to help dissolve the non-cellulose parts of a plant so that the strong bast fibres remain.
    • Titanium Dioxide is used to increase the whiteness and opacity of paper and provide a smooth surface. It can also be used to lighten colours from dyes or pigments that have been added to the pulp.
    • The fine white powder Opal Gamma Kaolin (China clay) helps to reduce shrinkage and provides smoothness and opacity, making the pulp useful for model making and paper casting.
    • Calcium Carbonate promotes acid-free archival qualities by providing an alkaline reserve. It helps to prevent shrinkage and provides a smooth surface in paper casting and improves opacity and whiteness.
    • Cationic Retention Aid helps to combine all the elements in the pulp so that pigments and fillers are evenly dispersed and bound to the fibres. Colour the pulp with Pigments or Dyes, or add other elements such as skeleton leaves, tea leaves or dried petals.
    • Paper Sizing (Alkyl Ketene Dimer Emulsion) will make the paper less absorbent and can be used in the pulp or applied to a sheet of handmade paper to help prevent ink or paint from running or bleeding. It improves paper stiffness and helps repel oils and dirt. It has a neutral pH, meets archival standards and is an important addition if using paper for artwork or screen printing.

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