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Glossary of Paper Terms

A plant grown in the Philippines whose fibres are used for making paper and textiles.

Paper that is free from any acid content or other substances that are likely to have a negative effect on the paper or its ability to last over time (see PH).

Alkaline means ‘base’ and is defined as anything that has a pH over 7.0 and is free of acids.

Paper that is not only acid- free but also lignin and sulfur free. Most commonly used to repair and restore historic documents, archival paper must be long lasting without causing deterioration to itself or other materials it may come into contact with.

A method of treating fabric or paper with wax before dyeing, so the treated area does not take colour.

A chlorine solution used to whiten pulp in papermaking.

Chain Lines
In a sheet of paper, chain lines run perpendicular to the laid lines. In a papermaking mould, laid lines are woven together by very thin wire or silk threads. Watermark lines, also known as chain lines are formed from these threads in the newly formed sheet.

Chin Collé
A paper collage process in which sheets of paper are laminated together by the pressure of the etching press and glue. This process allows for layers of coloured areas to be achieved without having to separate plates.

A Japanese term for mulberry bark, commonly referred to as any paper with inclusions of mulberry bark.

One of the most commonly used plant fibres in the making of western papers. It is also called “rag” or “linters”. Cotton is the purest form of cellulose produced in nature and as such it requires the least amount of processing before it can be used.

The wooden frame that rests on top of a mould and defines the edge of a sheet during hand papermaking. Deckle edges are the feathered edges of a sheet created when the pulp thins towards the edge of the deckle frame.

A tough, wiry grass that grows without cultivation in the semi-arid parts of Spain and North Africa. The fibre it produces is smooth and soft.

Paper weight can be measure in a variety of ways. The most accurate and most common measure for decorative papers is in “grimmage” whereby the weight measured in g/m2 refers to the weight in grams of exactly one square meter of paper. One gram is equal to .0022 pounds.

The inner bark of a plant grown in Japan. It is considered the noblest fibre and has exquisite natural sheen.

This lovely translucent paper has a gentle sheen with soft, delicate strands of fibre, making it an ideal paper for lampshades, screens and accents for invitations.

An older name for abaca, manila hemp is related to the banana plant and its leaf fiber is often used in papermaking. Not to be confused with true hemp-cannabis sativa, or the marijuana plant.

A long, rough fibre from the mulberry tree that produces strong, absorbent sheets of paper. Kozo is the most common fibre used in Japanese papermaking.

Laid paper
Paper with a prominent pattern of ribbed lines in the finished sheet. It is customary for the laid lines to run across the width and the chain lines (see above) to run vertically.

Deep, rich earth tones in solid or ‘pinto’ patterns are the allure of these vegetable-dyed papers from Nepal. Lokta is handmade from the Daphne shrub and when glued down takes on the look of leather-ideal for bookmaking!

Paper that is produced on a rapidly moving machine which forms, dries, sizes and presses the sheet. This process forms an extremely uniform sheet.

A flat screen with wire mesh onto which the deckle is placed during hand papermaking.

Mould Made
A sheet of paper that simulates the look of handmade paper but is actually made by a machine called a cylinder mould.

A soft, wrinkled Japanese paper specially treated to be strong and water-resistant. Momi metallic papers are machine made but crinkled by hand and covered with a paste of imitation gold or silver.

Considered to be the everlasting paper as it has been found in perfect condition in tombs and temples dating back to 2700 B.C., papyrus has been used for painting, writing with a variety of inks and bookbinding. After the style of the ancient Egyptians, the pith of the papyrus plant is cut into thin strips and soaked in water. The hydrated strips are then cut to the length of the sheet to be made. With cotton sheets to absorb the water, parallel strips are topped with an equal number of perpendicular strips to create a sheet. Dark Papyrus is soaked longer in water to achieve a darker colour and a less solid sheet.

pH (potential of Hydrogen)
In lay terms, pH is the measure of availability of free hydrogen ions representing the balance between the acid and alkaline components of a material. 7pH (pH neutral) represents a balance between the acid and alkaline components; 0 pH is very acidic and a 14pH is very alkaline (see acid-free).

Rice Paper
A misnomer in Asian papers. Rice rarely plays a part in the manufacture of papers in Asia. Quite often, the unryus are confused with what people believe to be “rice papers” (see Unryu below).

A wild shrub native to the Philippines which is harvested in a manner very similar to mulberry. Limbs are trimmed, the bark is stripped off and the inner fibre of the branch is boiled and beaten to make paper. Due to its superlative strength and natural sheen, salago is the fibre of choice to make currency in the Philippines.

A Japanese word for “paper.”

A paper’s sizing refers to the additives or solutions that have been added to the fibre either during the beating process (internal sizing) or after the sheet is dried (external sizing). The amount of sizing in or on a paper determines its resistance to moisture. The more sizing, the less absorbent the paper and vice-versa.

A flexible bamboo or reed screen used in Japanese papermaking.

Meaning “cloud dragon paper” in Japanese, unryu is characteristic of paper containing strands of fibre that are added to the sheet to create contrast and texture.

From the Japanese wa, meaning “ Japan”, and shi meaning “paper” washi refers to any Japanese paper, traditionally made or otherwise.

The GALLERY / art placement inc.
228 - 3rd avenue south, saskatoon, SK, canada, S7K 1L9

p: 306.664.3931 f: 306.933.2521
e: supplies@artplacement.com


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