About Handmade Paper
About Handmade Paper
Technically speaking, Handmade Paper is
paper made by hand using a mould (a frame covered with a flat, rigid screen
or flexible screen). Handmade paper is a layer of entwined fibers and held
together by the natural bonding properties of cellulose fibers. The mould is
covered by a flat frame called a deckle, to contain the run-off of wet pulp,
dipped into a vat of wet pulp, shaken to distribute the fibers evenly and
drained of its excess water. The wet mat of fibers remaining in the newly
formed sheet is then dried against blankets & may be hot pressed, cold
pressed, or air-dried.
Handmade Paper is traditionally made using various vegetable fibers or
cotton rags Another method is to use recycled paper. These fibers are
obtained from variety of plant species. Each fiber has its own physical
properties and lends a peculiar characteristic to the paper. Handmade paper
can be classified primarily by the sheet making process.
Being one of the most ancient traditional industries, Handmade Paper
manufacturing traces its roots from China through the Mid-East to Europe.
Its invention in China dates back to fifth century AD. However, Indians are
credited to have used paper made from cellulose fibers even during 3rd
Century B.C. The leaves of palm trees were the medium of writing in India in
the olden times. 'Papyrus' made from similar named reed that grew on the
banks of Nile river in Egypt was stated to have been the medium of
communication of Egypt.
With invasions of Muslims in the sub-continent, the art came to India in
fifteen century A.D. and today it has the largest population of Hand Paper
makers in the world.
Making paper by hand in India is a traditional art which has been passed
down through the generations by craftsmen known as Kagzis; the name being
derived from the word `Kagaz' meaning paper. Though these are now almost
extinct, the traditional method of Handmade papermaking is still found in
various parts of India where the traditional Kagzi; communities ultimately
settled. One renowned `Kagzi; community is in SANGANER near the famous pink
city of JAIPUR.
The equipment used to transform the raw materials into paper has been
improved by modern technology but the process and principles remain
virtually unchanged. The possibilities for what can be accomplished with
Handmade Paper and Paper Pulp are limitless. Like many crafts, which have
enjoyed a revival, modern papermaking does not necessarily end with the
production of a utilitarian item. Handpaper making is an energetic creative
outlet and paper pulp has become not only a vehicle, but also an artistic
medium in itself. Just one of the beautiful aspects of handmade paper is
that no tree needs to be harvested to make it.
Handmade paper is a stunning example of recycling at work. It was, in fact,
concern about the disappearance of forests, coupled with renewed interest in
the quality of papers, that generated new study of the paper maker's
materials, especially the pulps and fibers. The raw materials used in
handmade papers range from all manner of vegetable matter (including leaves,
tree moss, potatoes, flowers), old ropes, canvas, linen, new & old
cotton Rags. Hosiery & Tailor cuttings, jute waste, paper waste &
Agro-waste fibers like Bagasse, Banana, Mulberry, Hemp & Remi etc.
Any raw material can be used as long as it has fibers capable of forming a
continuous sheet. Also important is proper acidic/alkaline balance, which
will assure that the paper is archival and will last virtually forever.
Papers are made based on specifications defined by the embellishment,
ingredient(s), thickness, color and size over a minimum manufacturing order.
Papers are converted into beautiful products, which can be used as unique
gift options, home decorations, office accessories and other utility
Why use handmade papers?
Handmade paper has the advantage of being 100% wood free which makes it the
most eco-friendly form of paper around. It is also 100% recycled. Handmade
paper is excellent for writing as well as printing. It has greater tensile,
bursting, tearing and double-fold strength compared to conventional paper.
Apart from all this it looks great, handmade paper is fashionable, it's up
market, its classy! Our papers can be decorated with flower petals, jute,
wool, grass, straw etc. Handmade paper seems to be the perfect thing to have
come around in terms of environment friendliness. There are no chemicals
used in the manufacture of our handmade paper. The paper is solar dried, so
no energy wastage. No trees are cut to make such paper, the pulp used to
make the paper is derived from Cotton Fabric Rags, and this makes it 100%
eco-friendly and 100% natural. So handmade paper cuts down on pollution, its
saves trees (and wildlife) thus contributing to a much healthier
One tone of mill made paper cost the earth 270 trees or 400 bamboo plants.
If it's so perfect, why isn't everyone using it?
Handmade paper does turn out to be a little more expensive compared to mill
made paper because its not mass produced by machines like conventional
paper. There is a greater cost involved in the long run when using mill made
paper - somebody has to pay for all those trees being cut down and the
damage being done to the environment. Our Forests are being destroyed at an
alarming rate - trees are being felled by the millions to satisfy our need
for wood and paper.
Global rates of destruction of forests
¤ 2.4 Acres every second - equivalent to
2 football fields.
¤ 149 Acres per minute
¤ 2,14,000 acres per day, an area larger
than New York City
¤ 78 Million acres per year, an area
larger than Poland.
¤ An estimated 137 species of life forms
are driven to extinction each day or 50,000 a year.
Handmade paper is a solution to solve all our environment related problems
- Its paper that doesn't utilize wood for its manufacture - is free from all
chemicals, and is dried using the most eco-friendly means of energy - solar
energy The pulp used to create handmade paper is made from cotton fabric
rags - the creation of the paper involves recycling of cloth and apart from
this the paper itself is recyclable.
- SORTING & DUSTING
The cotton rag (raw material) is sorted by hand to remove unwanted
materials, variation in color and dust.
- RAG CHOPPING
The sorted material is chopped into small uniform sized pieces for
making the pulp.
The hollander pulps the chopped rags in water. Inert chemicals are
added to give the paper the desired color, physical properties and
- SHEET FORMATION
Option 1 (for thin/fine paper). DIPPING: The pulp is diluted with
water and put into a masonry trough or vat. The lifting mould is
then dipped into the trough, shaken evenly and lifted out with the
pulp on it.
- Option 2 LIFTING: A fixed measure of pulp is poured evenly onto a
mould, which is clamped between two wooden deckles (frames) in a
water tank. The mould is then raised mechanically to drain excess
The wet paper is transferred on a cloth/felt sheet, building up a
stack of interleaved sheets.
A hydraulic press is used to squeeze out excess water from the
sheets. This improves the physical properties of the paper and
The sheets are hang dried to remove moisture.
- CLEANING & SIZING
Small dirt particles are removed manually with pincers. The cleaned
sheets are coated with starch to further improve the physical
properties of the paper.
The sheets are placed between metallic plates and passed through
spring loaded rollers in a calendering machine. This smoothens them
and enhances the gloss. This process is also used to get different
The sheet till this point has the natural deckle edge. To make the
paper workable it is cut in standard size of 22"x30" or
56X76cms and then packed for delivery.
- Handmade paper by its character shall always have minor
variation in shade, thickness and density embellishments in each
Manufacturing Details Of Hand Made
- Hand made Paper is made from 100% cotton waste and other residual
- Jute/Hamp/Wood/Wool/Straw/Flower Petals and Silk Fibers are used
to give Mottling effect in the paper.
- 22X30 inches is the convenient size. But 23X35 inches can also be
- Pigment or Natural Colors are used, but as very few colors are
available in them, direct, synthetic colors are used to give a very
bright shade to Paper. These dyes are non-Toxic/toxic.
- Only those chemicals are used which are very essential for making
Paper such as Roisin, Alum, starch etc.
- Rags are bleached with Bleaching powder and washed completely
when desired brightness is achieved. Titanium -dioxide is used in
some papers to achieve the desired purpose required by certain
people (to give more smoothness).
the handmade paper different from mill-made paper?
the paper used in our offices and home is mill made and is made from
wood pulp, obtained by cutting the trees and by adding chemicals and
dyes, which are very harmful for our environment and lead to Greenhouse
effect. In making handmade paper, there are no chemicals and harmful
dyes used. It is made using cotton waste of the textile mills, waste
bio-mass like grass, jute, husk, waste wool, broken leaves and flower
petals etc. Using handmade paper saves our environment and also helps in
preserving our nature.
Is it possible to write on handmade paper?
is possible to write on most varieties except some silk and rough
textured paper. A well size handmade paper does not blot while writing
with fountain pen. You can also print on handmade paper by using it on
Inkjet or Laser Printers and can print your own stationery at home.
the impressions and inclusions in handmade paper like flower petals &
grass fade over a period of time?
papers are very strong type of papers and do not deteriorate with time,
if stored properly, i.e., away from dampness and moisture. The Lokta
paper remains same for almost 100 years and has inherent property of
protection against insects.
handmade paper be used in office equipment/offset printing?
plain surface Handmade papers can be used in Office Stationery & you
can easily use them in Fax machines, laser printers, Inkjet Printers,
photocopier Machines. Using Eco-Friendly Handmade paper in your Office
will give your company, an eco-friendly image.
HANDMADE PAPER long-lasting ?
paper lasts much longer than mill made paper because of its inherent
strength due to dispersed fibres.