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        I can help a little bit.  Two springs ago a friend and I
gathered two trash bags full of the stuff.  By the stuff I am talking
about the long white silky fibers that drop off the trees.  We plan on
making paper with it also but haven't squeezed it in our schedules.
We have gathered some information on it but there was little first hand
information about it.
        The fiber is hollow and as a result VERY buoyant.  It used to be
used as a filler for life preservers at sea.  Light and buoyant.  That's
a problem in paper making of course.  Trying to keep the stuff evenly
distributed in the vat is the issue.  It not only floats but clumps up
also.  It's been suggested to me to that lots of cooking in Caustic
soda might break it down enough so it would loose its buoyancy.
Then again you may want paper that floats.  But I would also suggest
mixing it with something else like cotton linters to
make it easier to work with.  Perhaps formation aid too.
        I believe a couple of years ago this subject was discussed on
this list so you may want to check the archives.  Please let us know how
it works out.
        Good luck.

Bob Muens
Bookbinding and Conservation
513 Fleming Street, Suite 5
Key West, Fl  33040
(305) 293-8881

BO>I have been given a bag of kapok and am wondering what I need to do to it
BO>to make paper. I haven't used it before.

BO>      ==============================
BO>     /             Hands                                   /
BO>   /                   on                                   /

BO> /                       Paper                         /

BO>Papermakers of Victoria http://home.vicnet.net.au/~papervic
BO>Victorian Bookbinders Guild http://home.vicnet.net.au/~bookbind

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