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China paper

>.Alison Chipman wrote:>
>Can anyone tell me in which characteristics they differ? For instance, =
>dictionary (Roberts & Etherington) tells me India paper is opaque, and
>since 1875 at least, made from chemically-processed hemp and rags. It
>does not state whether China paper is translucent or opaque, but do
>state that it is pale yellow in colour, and made from bamboo fibers.  =
Is an
>essential distinction the material from which the two are made, i.e., =
>India paper can be defined as always made from hemp and rags, and
>China paper always from bamboo? Is this consistently and historically
>true?  Another source states that China paper contains fine clay in its
>mixture, which imparts a smooth finish. Does this distinguish it from =
>paper? Or does the distinction, if any, lie in some other =
characteristic that
>my sources do not mention?

The term "China paper" is used by Japanese when referring to bamboo =
paper. (Gettens,1976,241: Japanese Painting: Technical Studies at The =
Freer Gallery of Art in Conservation and Restoration of Pictorial Art =
edited by Brommelle and Smith, London: Butterworths). However, Chinese =
used MORE than hemp and bamboo as papermaking materials. Among the other =
most common materials are mulberry, papermulberry,  blue sandalwood (for =
making famous Xuan paper), and rattan.=20
Chinese hemp paper was described as pliable but tough, fine on the front =
side and coarse on the back side and it is often dyed yellow with the =
sap from the Amur cork tree. It is a well know practice for the insect =
repellant purpose. Hemp paper is much thicker than the paper made from =
bark (mulberry, papermulberry, and blue sandalwood). Bark paper is =
usually white, soft, and semi-transparent. Bamboo paper used extensively =
in book production is very thin and you can often see the printed text =
on the other page although it is not totally transparent. Paper made of =
bamboo has shorter fibers so it can easily discolored (yellow) and =
become brittle. Because of that, Chinese called it "yellow paper".=20

The fine clay you mentioned is used in loading of paper to improve =
opacity, texture, and weight of the finished paper. There are also other =
loading materials used in ancient China, i.e., soybean powder.=20

The best reference for Chinese paper is Tsien, Tsuen-Hsuin's "Paper and =
Printing, Part I of the Science and Civilisation in China, Needham, =
Joseph (ed.), vol. 5: Chemistry and Chemical Technology. 1985 Cambridge =
University Press.
You will find every topics related to Chinese paper in this great =
masterpiece. However, I am sorry that I know nothing about India paper.=20

peng-peng wang

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