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PAPER MAKING

Making Handmade Papers: Steps & Timetable

The steps herein below are an overview of the whole process to make professional handmade paper. “Professional” here means producing papers for artists/painters use, such as watercolor, acrylic, pastel, drawing, printing, and other painting and drawing papers. The timetable at the end of each step is an approximate time span spent to fulfill the process for making a batch of 100 large sheet handmade watercolor papers. Notice the times are written in hours(hrs), days and months.

  1. Selection of fibers appropriate to the final application. This is done before doing anything else. Most of YAK handmade papers are produced using a variety of fibers from purest sources of alpha cellulose extracted from cotton, linen, sugar cane, soft wood and etc.YAK handmade papers fibers
  2. Chopping fibers. [3-5 hrs]
  3. Cooking to remove lignins and other impurities, when needed. [3-5 hrs]
  4. Bleaching, when needed. [3-5 hrs]
  5. Washing and buffering.[3-5 hrs]
  6. Beating in Hollanders or devices like without any chemicals. More washing is applied through beating process if needed.[5-14 hrs]
  7. Adding the beaten fibers to the vat together with preparation and adding of all the required natural chemicals and additives such as retention aids, adhesives, buffering agents, binding agents, internal sizing agents, and etc. [3-5 hrs]
  8. Pulling and drawing outs sheets of papers one by one from vat using a mould and deckle and couching the sheets on one and others with felts in between. [5-7 hrs]
  9. Pressing the stack with felts to remove water to form the sheets. [3-5 hrs]
  10. Removing the felts. [1-3 hrs]
  11. Pressing the stack again to remove more water.[1-3 hrs]
  12. Making small stacks of sheets and hang to loft dry.[3-4 days]
  13. Humidification of the dried papers in the loft.[5-7 hrs]
  14. Separating the dried papers.[1-3 hrs]
  15. Pressing the stack of dried papers to make them smooth and even.[1-3 days]
  16. Let the papers be aged before sizing. Papers in the batch are monitored, turned over and displaced continuously during this time. [2 months, at least]
  17. Sizing the papers accordingly to their desired application.[5-7 hrs]
  18. Pressing the stack of sized papers to remove the excess of size.[1-3 hrs]
  19. Making small stacks of sheets and hang to dry.[3-4 days]
  20. Humidification of the dried papers in the loft.[5-7 hrs]
  21. Separating the dried papers.[1-3 hrs]
  22. Roll pressing the stack of dried papers to acquire the needed finish or surface.[5-7 hrs]
  23. QC inspection sheet by sheet.[5-7 hrs]
  24. Embossed stamping on the right bottom corner to show my brand.[1-3 hrs]
  25. Storing for aging before packaging. Papers in the batch are monitored and final QC inspection is done during this time.[1 month, at least]
  26. Numbering and packaging. [5-7 hrs]

Thus, it takes nearly 4 months  of hard and steady work for each batch of 100 handmade papers to be made and prepared for professional artist use.