How to make paper from plants?

How to make paper from plants?

April 17, 2018

How to make paper from plants?
If you have the necessary ingredients, you are invited to a virtual workshop of paper preparation at home. Surely chrysanthemums grow around you, and if not, there is a fair selection of plants. Join and enjoy.
The process of making paper is so simple that the basic idea has not changed since it was invented in China some 2,000 years ago. The legend tells of the eunuch Tsai Lon, who was walking by the river and saw seaweed drying on a fishing net, peeling off the green surface, waving it in the air and reading "paper mountains" (in Chinese) and thus being inspired to make paper. "Nuri" enlarging the sea).

In China, the secret of paper production was preserved for about 600 years (during the spectacular opening ceremonies of the Olympics in China, paper was presented as one of four important inventions) and from there to Japan and Samarkand and along the Silk Road reached our region and from here to Europe and America. Everywhere the "Chinese" paper came, it replaced the writing platform that was common in that area - whether it was the papyrus in Egypt, the oasis in Mexico, the card in Europe or the preaching in Hawaii. The simplicity of its preparation and the possibility of preparing sheets of any size allowed its global distribution to be adapted to local conditions (characteristic plants, drying conditions, etc.).
Technological development over the years, especially the industrial revolution of the end of the 19th century, as well as the increasing demand for paper as a result of the development of printing and the consumption of paper for packaging and dozens of other products, advanced the paper manufacturing machine to a continuous and rapid process that emits tens of kilometers of paper per day.
In order to experiment with preparing paper at home, basic kitchen equipment is required. The same conditions that exist in nature, as in the case of algae paper, are required to date (whether in the computerized and industrialized Hadera paper factories or in the preparation of paper in the kitchen) - plant fiber, water, mesh for filtration and drying.
Plants for making paper
Paper is actually a weave of fibers that are held together by hydrogen bonds spontaneously forming in the drying process. If woven, the fibers are twisted and knitted in a crisscross, if you look at paper with a microscope, you will see a "mess" of fibers in all directions. In order to reach this state, we must first decompose the plant into fibers and then "rearrange" it with the water and the net.
Which plants are suitable for making paper? In fact, each plant contains fibers (needed for stabilization, transmission, etc.), but to get a strong paper that will allow it to be used for painting, printing, folding, packaging, etc., we prefer plants with long, flexible fibers.
In the past, plants were used to produce paper, such as kozo (Japanese kozo) or cannabis (hemp is not used for smoking) in Europe, or plants that collected them from nature such as esparto grass (used in England and collected in North Africa) In agriculture such as wheat straw, or recycling of textile fibers from cotton fabrics, flax and so on.
Today the industry consumes conifers and other trees that are specially planted for this purpose. The prevailing opinion that the paper industry is responsible for deforestation is incorrect, but this does not mean that paper recycling can be waived!
Required equipment
A stainless steel pot, soda powder, a deep filter net (like a slug), a schnitzel hammer or a blender, a 1-3 liter pitcher, a tub and a flat filter net (like a sieve).
Collect plants
You can use wild plants that grow abundantly. In dry seasons it is possible to use water plants such as cane leaves or dry plants such as straw or leaves of corn cobs. In urban environments, you can use the stems of a feather fringe grown in traffic islands or in fresh peels of ficus trees or organic waste such as crushed celery stalks! (This is only a partial list and there are hundreds of suitable plants that sometimes require experimentation)
Softening plants
Before decomposition, soften the plants by soaking them in normal water for a day or two (fresh herbs do not need to soak) and cooking for about two hours in a stainless steel saucepan (for drinking or washing) with a glass of soda for 10 liters of water. Boil the fibers soaked in water (cover them) with the soda and cook on a low flame with a lid and mix occasionally.
The dismantling of plants
After cooking, the fibers should be washed well in the deep net until the water is clear. Then disassemble them into fibers by grinding for about 15 minutes with a schnitzel hammer on a stable surface, or 15 seconds in a blender. Pay attention to insert small dishes into the blender with plenty of water so as not to burn it. If we put a handful of fibers into a transparent jar and shake it with water, a fairly uniform suspension is required. If not, the liquidation should continue.
The casting of the fibers
The distilled fibers with natural water in the jar until a thin suspension. Fill with water in a tub a few inches high and throw the flat net (a flour mill, a small window with a web of stretched flies or a canvas stretched on a frame) with the high frame up. Pour the fibers into the net, using the other hand to spread the fibers until the surface is uniform. We will lift the net from the tub while shaking slightly to improve uniformity.
Dry the paper
If the paper is smooth and warm to the touch, peel it carefully from the net, "And there is paper!"
Additions
You can vary the fibers by adding pigments, petals of flowers (unprotected), colorful spices, confetti, etc. Add all the ingredients to mix in the jug before casting.
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