Handmade paper, environment friendly and bio-degradable, is 100% wood-free. Made out of cotton and agricultural wastes, handmade paper has high tensile strength and a longer life compared to mill-made paper. Grass, jute and straw waste, banana stem, mulberry bark, sisal, weed and waste paper, are also used in the making of handmade paper. Infact any raw material can be used as long as it has fiber. Flourishing at its heights, today the wide range and kind of handmade paper include multifarious collection from plain paper to banana paper, embroidered paper to starch coated paper, hand printed paper to screen printing paper…creating a myriad of utilitarian paper products.
Handmade papermaking is nearer to art than to the mechanics of industries because of the bewildering variety of natural materials and dyes, as well as finishing techniques, used in its making. The fairly simple process of handmade paper making can be basically divided into six stages – preliminary treatment, beating, sheet formation, pressing, peeling and drying, and sizing. The beginning marks the breaking down the raw materials like rags, straw, grass, etc. into small pieces which are then beaten in the second stage to disjoint the fibers, impurities are washed off and kept in abeyance to make a pulp. At the third stage the cast, which is inside a wooden frame, is doused into the tub containing the fiber-water mixture and the tub is agitated to make an even layer of the pulp, draining the remaining water out; the conjoined fibers give strength to the sheets. In the fourth stage the damp sheets are moved to a woolen felt and in this stage different patterns could be given to the sheets. Extra moisture is removed in the fifth stage and in the sixth stage the handmade paper is treated with glue and starch to restrain blotting and the process is complete with the drying of the sized sheets.
Just because handmade paper is not produced in a massive quantity, it turns out to be a little more expensive compared to conventional paper. But that is not worth counting when it comes to the much greater price which the entire human race has to pay if the demolition of trees is not barred at the first place, which is giving rise to the monstrous Global Warming. 100% eco-friendly and recyclable, handmade paper reduces pollution, saves trees, thus contributing to a much balanced and healthier environment.
A gift wrapped in handmade wrapping paper in a handmade paper bag would speak for itself in any party, any occasion, also verbalizing your artistic and designer outlook! Be it the embroidered paper or the marbled paper, handmade wrapping papers and handmade paper bags are creating a new cult…an eco-friendly way to wish your loved ones, saving the lovely earth too.