Making denim paper: Stage 2

PPA-DP7Back at Primrose Park I liberated my pulped-denim vat, gave it a good stir and started making paper.

My aim was to produce some quality A3 sheets but it didn’t go too well.  My couching cloths were slightly too small so I borrowed from someone else.  What I didn’t realize is that the cloths make a huge difference to the paper result.

I use old sheeting cut up and hemmed as my cloths and I thought I borrowed similar ones but it turns out that mine have a slightly more open weave (possibly just more worn!) and this enables the air and water to pass through easily, so reducing the amount of air bubbles that become trapped when turning the paper out of the deckle onto the layered cloths.  Out of 10 attempts to turn out A3 sized sheets I only managed 2.

I decided to reduce my paper size to a slightly smaller square shape and return to my own cloths.PPA-DP8

No problems there and I was happy with a dozen sheets.  Here you can see the paper once I left it to dry – quite a lot lighter than the concentrated pulp in the tub.

Normally the pressed sheets are turned out onto boards and dried flat in the sun but as I live a distance away I bring them home pressed but still wet on the cloths and dry them on my spare bathroom floor.  They then go under my book press for a few days to flatten, ready for printing on.

With still over half a tub of pulp remaining I can see myself with a ton of blue paper in the future.  Perhaps adding some dye will be fun and increase the variety.

About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My paper and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Making denim paper: Stage 2

  1. Nola says:

    How fascinating! I never knew the cloths could make such a difference (not that I’ve done much paper making in my life). I like the blue but yes, it would be fun to add some dye. Looking forward to seeing it one of these days.

    • Claire B says:

      I also hadn’t appreciated how much difference very closely woven cloths would have in the final paper making process. Luckily I’ve another old sheet identical to the one I used for my smaller cloths so I’ll now cut that into bigger pieces to take A3 paper sheets.

  2. Lottie says:

    This sounds great fun and looks super too. The blue reminds me of visiting my dad’s office as a child – different documents were printed onto different papers – I can almost feel the tooth of that paper still.

  3. Pingback: 2 weekly roundup 16 October 2016 | Fibres of Being

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