Making denim paper: Colouring

ppa-dp9Even though I’ve been busy elsewhere I still managed to find time to drag my remaining denim pulp out and form some new sheets.

Blue, never having been my favourite colour, isn’t something I want hundreds of sheets of, so dyeing the pulp was the aim for the day.  However, what colour could I mix into the denim to allow me to have a paper that is still able to be printed on without my imagery being overwhelmed by the background?  Yellow, of course.  That should result in green.  The store of dyes and colours available at Primrose Paper Arts is quite extensive and I was informed that some brands or types might be more effective than others.

ppa-dp10So, using jam jars, I separated out small amounts of pulp and tried a couple of different yellows and orange.  Not good.  I ended up with what I see on the internet is commonly called goose-poop green!!  Even the colour sample card here looks nicer than it was in reality!

ppa-dp11I then tried adding to this awful colour a little mid green.  OK, that was an improvement but a bit too, well … mid-green.  By this stage I had realised that what I was looking for was a more teal colour.

So, several jam jars later (and help from a very experienced paper artist, Jill Elias), working on proportions of original denim colour with a mix of deep blue and deep green I finally got something I thought would work.  However, to get the colour to take to the fibre and not just float around in the water I had to drain the pulp as much as possible and tip the dye into this pulp ‘slurry’.  It was mixed well, until as much of the fibre as possible was colour saturated, before going into the paper bath and adding the water.

ppa-dp12The colour looks best in the small lower inset picture as the light was at a different angle.

So what was the final result, and how different was it to the original blue denim paper I had made before?

ppa-dp13Obviously how it looks when wet is not what you get when dry, it lightens quite a bit, and I’m really pleased with the outcome.  However, do you see those creases, top and bottom, on the sheets?  Well, they shouldn’t be there.  Since making these sheets I’ve learned why this has happened and will discuss the reasons and solution when I next make and dry some paper sheets and post my progress.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My paper and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making denim paper: Colouring

  1. Mandy says:

    I love that teal colour Claire!

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