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Re: BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 12 Oct 1999 to 13 Oct 1999

In a message dated 10/13/99 11:05:49 PM, you wrote:

<<My understanding is that flax, i.e. crude flax plant fibers obtained
with minimal processing, makes for rather weak paper if used
exclusively.  The paper makers on the list might speak to that with
better authority than I. >>

the flax palnt has some of the longest cellulose fibers in
papermaking...which is why linen rag papers are so strong (linen is spun
flax).  One can make an extremely strong flax paper if the fiber is retted
and the fiber rinsed while beating to remove the excess hemicellulose (which
causes the brittleness....and the transparency).  I have never managed to
make as strong a paper (other than perhaps some hemp papers) as flax!
- Robbin Ami Silverberg
Dobbin Mill, NY

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