We produce hand-laid recycled paper from high-quality scrap and linters (cotton). It is a waterleaf printmaking paper: evenly absorbent and softening for water based work or calligraphy; perfect for oil-based crash printing.
Our Paper is available at The Paper Plant Website
The word “paper” comes from papyrus, which was a
hand-woven mat of rushes (big blades of grass) made by Egyptians almost five
thousand years ago. Papyrus, like Mexican bark paper and even the
original “rice paper” (shaved sheets of Formosan pith named by Dutch sailors),
does not qualify as true paper because it is not produced by bringing beaten
plant fibers into a felted layer using the action of draining water.
The first true paper was made in China two thousand
years ago. An official to the Emperor of China made paper from old
fishing net and scraps of the silk which he had been writing on before that to
make sacred script for religious ceremonies. His paper, a slurry of pounded
fibers thrown and patted on to a bamboo screen.
Paper got invented over and over by cultures around the
world. Whenever a people invented writing, making paper was not too far
behind. The Mayans in South American invented bark paper around 500
Johann Gutenberg used paper to do the first important
printing in Europe. Before Gutenberg, all books were written by hand
with a quill pen on parchment, which is made of sheepskin. Papermaking reached
Europe through two sets of slavery – Turkish fighters captured a Chinese
papermaking mill, workers and all, and carried it home. During the Crusades,
Moorish papermakers ended up in Spain and the new technology spread north.
European papermakers used cotton rags to make their pulp, and used waterwheels
and screw presses to mechanize the process and increase its scale.
Paper was first made in American in 1690 at a mill near
Philadelphia. England had made papermaking a monopoly that they
controlled, so the ability to make paper was an important part of our growing
independence. It’s hard to remember that every piece of paper made during the
Revolutionary War – every newspaper, every letter, and every book – was made by
hand one sheet at a time.
A papermaking machine that made an endless roll of
paper with a wire cylinder was invented in 1799. This type of machine
is still used today to make vast quantities of paper from wood chips, which are
chemically “cooked” to separate the fibers.
Libraries have discovered that poor quality machine
paper is a threat to their collections (thousands of books are turning to
dust). Machine paper for books needs attention to acidity and a little
cotton. Well made acid-free paper stores ideas very well.