Production of Japanese handmade paper

The uniqueness of the Japanese papers - called "Washi" - can explained by the use of natural raw materials and the manufacturing processes. The Bast of Kozu- (broussonetia papyrifera), Mitsumata- (Edgeworthia papyrifera) or Gampi shrub (wickströmia canescens) used as fiber raw material.

Papermaking workshop (left) with blooming Mitsumata bush in the background

Kozu-, Mitsumata- or Gampi shrubs are harvested after one or two years and steamed under a cover. The fiber bast detached from stems. In real Japan papers used exclusively this Bast fibers unlike to cellulose fibers used in western papers. Its long and fine fibers form the basis for the outstanding properties of our Japico-Japanese papers. The peeled bark is boiled in weak lye - one reason for the neutral pH. For our high-quality Japico-Papers for Restoration purposes the Bast fibers in bundles washed in fresh mountain spring water and bleached by the sun. Chemical bleaches are used only in exceptional cases for such papers.

Soaking and bleaching of the fiber bundle in fresh mountain spring water

After sufficient washing all natural fiber inclusions from fibrillated strands to be singled out carefully under running water. This is one of the most sophisticated operations, with ultimate impact on the uniform paper formation.

Then the fibers are beated with wooden mallets. Iron mallets are absolutely prohibited for the production of Japico-Japanese papers used for restorations, because they oxidations (rust). The addition of Nori the mucus of the Hibiscus root (hibiscus manihot, a natural dispersant) or an especially long-molecular polymer (for some products) give the guarantee of a uniform fiber suspension, be used for the production of Japico-Japanese papers.

Paper making process afte "Nagashi-zuki" method

The strength of our very thin Japico-papers has its origin by the intense entanglement of long bast fibers. Such an intense entanglement can created especially in the multi-scoop method ("Nagashi-zuki"). These papers are highly tear and kink-resistant and virtually unlimited foldable.

Japanese papers are especially resistant against aging, because chemicals (only lye is used during the preparation process of bast fibers) added to the pulp. For the production of our Japico-Restoration papers even while fiber digestion no ferrous equipment used. Our Japico papers made with naturally pure spring water (absolutely pure chlorine and iron-free) for pH-neutral papers. In contrast to Western papers is not necessary to add calcium carbonate for a pH-neutral product. Japanese papers are therefore more stable, more natural and more suitable for long-lasting restorations.

 

Japanes bamboo mould while couching 

Wide range to use Japanese paper:

The numerous products from the assortment of Japico be used for the most diverse applications. S
ome examples are:

  • restoration task (Papers between 1.6 - 30 g/sqm)
  • fine art printing (more 20 g/sqm)
  • Digital Fine Art
  • technical applications

This report of German broadcast shows the use of Japico Japanese paper for restoration of the fire damaged books of Anna Amaliabibliothek in Weimar ("nano" reports on 26/02/2014 on 3sat).

Alternatively, please use the link below: http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/?mode=play&obj=41915 for watching.