In papermaking, a dilute suspension of fibres in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by pressing and drying to make paper. Since the invention of the Fourdrinier machine in the 19th century, most paper has been made from wood pulp because of cost. But other fibre sources such as cotton and textiles are used for high-quality papers. One common measure of a paper’s quality is its non-wood-pulp content, e.g., 25% cotton, 50% rag, etc. Previously, paper was made up of rags and hemp as well as other materials.
Papermaking, regardless of the scale on which it is done, involves making a dilute suspension of fibres in water and allowing this suspension to drain through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is then removed from this mat of fibres using a press.
The method of manual papermaking changed very little over time, despite advances in technologies. The process of manufacturing handmade paper can be generalized into five steps:
1. Separating the useful fibre from the rest of raw materials. (e.g. cellulose from wood, cotton, etc.)
2. Beating down the fibre into pulp
3. Adjusting the colour, mechanical, chemical, biological, and other properties of the paper by adding special chemical premixes
4. Screening the resulting solution
5. Pressing and drying to get the actual paper
Source : Wikipedia
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