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Handmade Paper Making Process

The process of making paper by Hand is basically the same today as many hundreds of years ago by which a wet layer of pulp is formed on a mould. The excess water is pressed out and the damp sheet is air dried. When it comes to environment friendly, Handmade papers lead the pack. Handmade Paper is still appreciated for its distinctive uniqueness and the skilled craft involved in making each sheet, in contrast with the higher degree of uniformity and perfection at lower cost achieved by Mill- Made papers because it’s not mass produced by machines like conventional paper.

STEP 1

Sorting & Shredding of Rags

Paper can be made from any natural material that contains over 60% cellulose. Most plant fibre needs to be cooked but Cotton Rags can be soaked and beaten directly without cooking. Rags collected from hosiery units are sorted and chopped down into small pieces in a Rag Chopper to be converted into pulp in next process.

STEP 2

Beating Rags To Make Pulp

Once the fibre is ready, It goes through beating process. The rags are mixed with water & added to A Hollander beater which breaks down the fibre & turns it into a slurry.

STEP 3

Sheet Formation

The beaten pulp is transferred into a tub/ Vat, mixed with water and a mould and Deckle with screen is used to lift water and fibre. The water drains out and a thin layer of pulp is left on screen.
Handmade papers are made sheet by sheet, not in a continuous roll.

STEP 4

Pressing The Excess Water

The wet sheets are transferred out of the mould & a special gauze cloth is used to cover the cotton sheet. This step is repeated until a stack of sheets is created. At this stage the sheets are 90% water. The stack of sheets are then pressed in a hydraulic press to remove excess water.
The process is called couching, pronounced ` kooching’.

STEP 5

Drying Of The Sheets

The semi wet sheets are then hanged with pins to let them solar dry or Air dried. It will take around 1-2 days to completely dry the paper depending on weather conditions.

STEP 6

Calendering

After drying the paper is little crumpy and uneven. So Calendaring is where the now completely dry sheets are interleaved with zinc plates and put through heavy rolls with very high pressure. Calendering makes the paper smooth to be used in whichever way you want.