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Re: [BKARTS] Hemp



I guess what I meant when I was referring to hemp paper as being coarse
and rigid (granted, these terms are subjective), was that, if we're
talking about historic sources of paper furnish, most-if not all from
what I've read- came from textile/recycled sources rather than from the
raw fiber itself.  If the source for hemp fiber was ropes, then we can
expect the final paper product to be full of all sorts of inclusions,
shives, even tarry substances.  Examination of paper from certain
periods shows this.  In terms of Asian paper traditions, I believe paper
fibers were sourced from raw materials.  Preparation of these fibers was
also far more meticulous than in the West.  Raw fibers vs. recycled
fibers can be very different in the paper they make.

Also, I stand by the fact that paper, up until what I've seen recently
in "eco-friendly" stationery stores, was not made solely of hemp.  There
must be a reason for this and I bet it has something to do with the
finished product not being very pleasing to write on/look at/print on.
Hemp is a bast fiber and as such includes all sorts of associated plant
cells which, if not processed to eliminate, offer little bonding
strength in the final paper.  Japanese kozo is also a bast fiber but
they pick all the foreign bits out.

Also, we must be careful when talking about Asian papermaking fibers-
much gets lost in translation, especially when common names are used
rather than Latin taxonomy.  I have seen the term 'asa' referring to
hemp, flax and ramie.  Historic Japanese 'hemp' cloth that I've seen is
rough compared to cotton or linen which is why the lower classes had to
use it.  Traditional Korean summer dress utilizes ramie to make
extremely fine, sheer clothing.  I'm not exactly doubting Susan, but I
think there is a good chance that Japanese hemp fabric she is referring
to may actually be made of ramie.  It has just that springy, papery
quality she mentions.

There is clearly a difference between Eastern and Western and historic
and contemporary papers all utilizing the same botanical fibers.
Processing plays a huge part.

Doug Sanders

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Susan Fatemi [mailto:susanf@PEER.BERKELEY.EDU]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 12:12 PM
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
> Subject: Re: Hemp
> 
> At 02:18 AM 3/26/2003 -0800, you wrote:
> >Ah, now....  'hempen' fiber does not, in and off itself, make an
> >'extremely coarse and somewhat rigid' paper. I've made paper from
> >Russian and Chinese hemp and would be hard put to distinguish those
> >sheets from those I've made from linen, except for the Russian hemp
> >which did contain a fair amount of shive.
> >
> >Papermakers (European-style) have been using rags of all sorts to
> >make paper since at least the 12th century.
> 
> Thanks for writing that about hemp paper, Jack. I thought
> the previous post sounded wrong, but not sure enough of
> my facts to comment.  Hemp paper is available from
> these folks (among others)
> http://www.ahappyplanet.com/ahpstore/office/prtfp.html
> 
> and I'm tempted to get some.
> 
> I know Asian papermakers use kozo/mulberry fiber directly,
> do they use hemp (asa in Japanese) the same way?
> 
> The "Manila Hemp" (Musa textilis) Doug refers to is
> more commonly known (at least in the textile world)
> as "abaca" or banana fiber (basho in Japanese).
> We did use it in a papermaking workshop I took several
> years ago, mixed with cotton linters.
> 
> I have a small collection of hand-woven Japanese hemp
> and nettle textiles. They are not coarse, rather they are
> so fine they are almost sheer. They are not stiff, but
> "crisp" with a springy, almost papery quality.
> 
> The only hemp fabric/clothing I've seen is made in China
> and very coarse -- it would probably make better rags
> for paper than it does clothing. But there is nothing inherently
> coarse about hemp fiber.
> 
> Has anyone on the list actually made paper using just hemp?
> 
> 
> Susan
> 
> 
> 
> Susan Fatemi
> 
> Ph: (510) 231-9552
> Fax: (510) 231-9461
> susanf@peer.berkeley.edu
> http://nisee.berkeley.edu
> 
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            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine
                    <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu>
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