Learning how to make cotton linen paper from old curtains, pillowcases, clothing, or similar items is an enjoyable and satisfying pastime, but at times it can become messy and time-consuming. You don’t need much in the line of specialized equipment though, so it’s something almost anyone can do at home. Let’s have a closer look at the process.
How To Make Cotton Linen Paper
Whether you are using fresh cotton, old clothing, or old fabric, the process is for all intents and purposes the same. Once you know how to make recycled paper, you will have a lifetime of fun waiting for you.
Summary of the steps involved:
- Rip or cut the material into smaller pieces
- Tear up a couple of old newspapers and add them to the mixture
- Boil everything in a mixture of baking soda and water
- Next, it has to be rinsed and then drained
- Add more water if needed
- Now blend everything into a pulp. A blender works well but be careful not to damage it
- Pour the pulp into a fairly big container with hot water and mix
- Next lay out the pulp as thickly as you need and wait for excess water to drain
How To Make Cotton Linen Paper – More Detailed Instructions
Once you’ve studied the instructions below, you will know exactly how to make cotton linen paper at home.
- Prepare the ingredients.
Both the cotton and the paper (from old newspapers) have to be prepared by cutting everything into relatively small pieces that will fit into a pan. The smaller you make the pieces, the easier the rest of the work becomes.
- Boil everything in a baking soda/water mixture.
Next, place the cotton and paper mix into a pan filled with a water/baking soda mixture. About ¼ cup of this mixture is all you need. The baking soda makes turning the cotton/paper mix into a pulp easier and it also helps to clean the cotton.
One of the secrets of how to make cotton linen paper is that, If you used raw cotton, you will have to simmer this mixture for as long as 4 hours, stirring it now and then. Used materials typically need much less time, an hour should be enough.
Afterward, rinse the mixture well to remove the remaining water and baking soda.
- Blend everything into a pulp.
To blend the mixture you can use a top-quality blender. You will have to pulse on and of for around half a minute. Adding sufficient water is a good way to make sure you have a great blend. Continue blending until the cotton/paper mixture appears light and fleecy with no large pieces left.
- Immerse the mixture into warm water.
Once the blending process has been completed, you need to immerse the mixture into a container such as a plastic tote filled with warm water. Mix everything properly until it appears consistent throughout.
- Start to make the paper sheets.
You don’t really need a fancy paper making kit for the next step, but you are going to need a frame with an attached screen. A wooden frame and window screen will work perfectly. The frame’s interior dimensions should be the size you want the paper sheets to be.
Secure the screen to the frame with a staple or by other means. Make sure it’s secure and that it will be able to carry the weight of the wet mixture. Now dip the frame completely into the mixture. Move it to and fro until the thickness of the paper is exactly like you want it to be. Then remove the frame.
- Dry the paper.
By now, you are nearly an expert on how to make cotton linen paper. All that’s left is to blot your brand new paper sheet to get rid of as much of the remaining moisture as possible. Use paper towels or sponges. The more successful you are with this, the less time you will need to air-dry the end product. Finally, you have to leave it to dry completely. This can be done in an oven or you can use an electric iron to speed up the process.
That’s it! You now know how to make paper from scratch. With this knowledge, you will not only be able to make recycled paper for writing, but with a few tweaks, you should also be able to make recycled paper for printing.