Mulberry Paper

I have added a limited range of these popular papers to the site and have put some advice here and hope that you will enjoy using them.
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A little bit about making SAA-Paper (mulberry)

Paper has been made by hand in the North of Thailand for over 700 years from the bark of the local saa-tree (Broussonetia Papyrifera Vent). Traditionally the paper was used for Buddhist scripts, temple decorations at festival times, umbrellas, fans and kite making. The largest concentration of saa-trees are to be found deep in the forests of North Thailand, especially damp soil near rivers or canals. It is fast growing and is coppiced, the bark is then stripped from the saplings and dried. The smallest branches of 1-3 inches thickness produce the best quality bark. Once cut these are quickly replenished and can be cut again the following year. Obtained in this way from renewable sources, sa-paper is considered to be an environmentally friendly product.

The paper-making process has changed little over the centuries. Traditionally bark is boiled in big open cauldrons to soften the fibre. It is then left to cool and soaked overnight before the water is changed, the fibre is washed many times. Dies are added if necessary and the fibre is beaten to a pulp.

Depending on the final thickness of the paper required, the pulp is then either placed in large vats to dissipate, or rolled into balls for manual spreading onto a bamboo frame with a cotton screen. The former method is used for tissue and thin paper, whereby the frame is 'washed' in the vats and small fibres are captured on the screen. Thicker paper is literally spread onto the same screen by hand. This final part of the process requires considerable skill and dexterity and is invariably undertaken by the women in the family. The paper itself forms naturally on the frames, which are placed in the sun to dry, before being peeled from the screens in sheets. For paper which have petals or leaves embedded, these are added on top of the paper sheet prior to drying and more pulp is added on top. Now a lot of the paper is mass produced in factories. Mulberry paper is also known as 'silk' paper and as far as I can tell this title has come from the texture of the paper rather than any content

Using Mulberry Paper

Mulberry paper is popular with card makers, it looks very effective and delicate on the cards. It can be cut or torn. For the fluffy edge look use a wet paintbrush to mark your desired shape and then gently pull away from the main sheet. You can also cut it with scissors or a trimmer for straight edges, or use fancy edged scissors for a different effect. Another method is to place a ruler on top, and tear the paper by pulling away from the ruler.

To attach it to cards use a normally paper glue - I tend to use Pritt stick, but your normal method will be fine. Other suitable glues are tacky glue/PVA - but use sparingly, or a Xyron if you have one. The Xyron will stick it all down ie the fluffy edges are not left 'free'.

Here is a project to make a bag using mulberry paper:

And there is a nice snowman card on this page:

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