DIY Cotton Paper

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awty

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Anyone experienced in making your own paper?
Wondering on the feasibility of making my own paper. I need to make something at 14x17 or larger.
Not sure whether to tare up some cotton sheets or use raw cotton. Cant seem to find full recipes for making something suitable for alternative process.
Can't be too hard hey?
Thanks
 

Lachlan Young

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It's a lot harder than you think, if you want to equal the top end mould/ handmade papers. The mechanics are relatively easy, but forming sheets consistently, from a suitably non-contaminated pulp beaten to a suitable fibre length & sized with a non-reactive size, and ensuring that you press them correctly so that you get a suitable surface, may end up eating months of your time to learn the skills. Give it a go, but you may find that the Ruscombe Mill handmade papers (or similar) are a better option, and I recall the minimum order for special makings is not large. You can even get custom moulds made (not cheap at all, but it'll last forever if well looked after) & have your own watermark incorporated - see http://papermouldmaker.com/
 
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awty

awty

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It's a lot harder than you think, if you want to equal the top end mould/ handmade papers. The mechanics are relatively easy, but forming sheets consistently, from a suitably non-contaminated pulp beaten to a suitable fibre length & sized with a non-reactive size, and ensuring that you press them correctly so that you get a suitable surface, may end up eating months of your time to learn the skills. Give it a go, but you may find that the Ruscombe Mill handmade papers (or similar) are a better option, and I recall the minimum order for special makings is not large. You can even get custom moulds made (not cheap at all, but it'll last forever if well looked after) & have your own watermark incorporated - see http://papermouldmaker.com/
Thanks for the reply. Suitable paper here costs about $10 a sheet and I enjoy doing things the hard way, have no intention of learning or mastering fine paper making only want a basic recipe for my own dodgy printing. Already have a screen I can adapt.
 

AgX

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But what is the minum kind of machinery? I'm not even speaking of a commercial beater or even hallander.
 

Lachlan Young

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Thanks for the reply. Suitable paper here costs about $10 a sheet and I enjoy doing things the hard way, have no intention of learning or mastering fine paper making only want a basic recipe for my own dodgy printing. Already have a screen I can adapt.

Main things you need are pre-beaten rags - look up 'papermaking rags' or similar & you might find them - felts for couching & a press for the later stages - finding an old bookbinding nipping press of suitable size might be your best bet, but it'll also limit your maximum sheet size. You'll likely find that the purity of the rags may be an issue - especially iron contamination. If you want a very well researched introduction to the whole process, see this page from the experts at the University of Iowa - http://paper.lib.uiowa.edu/european.php
 

AgX

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They advocate their 1400€ beater. That is why I asked, especially as this here is not about fun paper, but about high grade, imaging paper.

EDIT:
There seems a bug here, I did not see your one but last reply.
Yes, pre-beaten cotton.
That supplier indeed offers toll-beating. Of course that would not be a solution for overseas shipping.
 
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mark

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Lachlan Young

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They advocate their 1400€ beater. That is why I asked, especially as this here is not about fun paper, but about high grade, imaging paper.

EDIT:
There seems a bug here, I did not see your one but last reply.
Yes, pre-beaten cotton.
That supplier indeed offers toll-beating. Of course that would not be a solution for overseas shipping.

Essentially you can use cotton linters/ dried rag pulp (pretty readily available internationally from the better art suppliers - I can even buy them over the counter here in Glasgow in 2, if not 3 shops), dissolve them in water & give it a good stir (or take a food processor to them depending on how much they've been pre-processed) & you should get a usable pulp. A proper beater will give a much better sheet however. The realistic need for a hollander beater or similar in order to make really good paper has rather deterred me from trying much in the way of paper making...
 
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