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Making a Sheet of Paper

Making a Sheet of PaperMaking a Sheet of Paper – It would be rather good fun to make a sheet of paper for ourselves, using some waste paper in place of the fibrous substance. Tear up a few sheets of scrap paper and make pulp of this by shredding it into the smallest pieces. Put these in a bowl of hot water and let the pieces soak until they are quite soft. It wood be a good idea to let this soak all night. After a good soaking, take out the shredded paper once again and make the pieces even smaller by rubbing against a kitchen sieve and kneading it into pulp. Put it all back into your bowl and it will look just like creamy porridge, without any lumps.

The next process is to put the paper pulp into a flat baking tin and add water to raise the mixture to about I in. from the bottom. Stir thoroughly for some time so that the pulp is evenly distributed. To make a mould, cut a piece of wire window screening about 6 in. square, leaving a small piece at one end, so that you can hold it between your finger and thumb. Hold this screen at an angle and slip it under the floating pulp, then raise it up in a horizontal position. A good deal of the pulp will be carried on top of the screen and will be spread evenly over the surface of this. Let the water drain over the pan lay the screen on some sheets of old newspapers to dry out. You will find that the wet pulp will be rather loose and fluffy and perhaps somewhat bulky. But it will dry finer and thinner.

Leave this until the next day and by this time you will be able to peel a sheet of freshly made paper from the screen. It will be a little coarse and rough but undoubtedly paper. Should you want to produce finer quality paper, remove the pulp from the screen whilst it is still a little damp and then press over the surface with a hot iron. This process will compress all the fibres and is called “hot pressed” by craftsmen.

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