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Re: New papermaker--needs advice on how to "whiten paper" w/o muting flower clrs.


You might try simmering any vegetable materials for 15- 20 minutes before
adding them to your pulp.  Unprocessed vegetable materials tend to stain
the finished sheet.  You can add a little bleach to whiten pulp.
Experiment to see how much you need.  Too much will weaken the paper.

But it seems to me that you need to add a pressing step to your recipe.
If you don't press your pulp while it's wet, hydrogen bonds won't form,
and the paper will be very very weak.  You can press the couched sheets
in some kind of press (We use a 4 ton hydraulic press in the studio I
work in) or just under boards with weight piled on top.  You can even
drive your car over the boards.  But you need to add pressure.

To write on paper with a pen, you need to add sizing-- something to stop
the hydrophylic action that you induced when you beat the pulp in your
food processor.  You can buy very good sizings (such as ketane dimer
sizing) from suppliers such as Lee S. McDonald or you can try gelatin,
methyl cellulose (available at craft stores) or starch.  I've never used
Elmer's glue.  It seeme to me it might make the paper stiff?

Gwen Diehn


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