Paper can be made in many different ways and from many different fibers. When making paper from clothes or rag, the fabric is cut into small pieces, soaked, then put into a large beater and beaten until it is a usable pulp. The pulp is added to a large vat of water and a mould and deckle is dipped into the vat. Fibers are gathered on the mould screen and lifted out of the water. The paper is couched (kooched) off of the screen onto felts. The steps are repeated until there is a 10 to 20 sheet post of paper to be pressed. The press squeezes water out of the paper and the papers are parted, placed on dry felts, and pressed again. The paper is parted again and stacked onto blotters, under weight, for further drying.
Photos of Papermaking class, University of Alabama
Book Arts Program, Spring 2005