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In summary, if the early papermaker took care to obtain a supply of fresh water free of iron and debris, he was, more often than not, on the right track to making quality paper. There were only four examples (specimens P160, P153, P79, and P43).

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The 1300 through 1800 period, however, represents the rise and the slow but certain decline of hand papermaking as a major industry. the cloth should be taken out, rinsed, mill-washed, and delivered to the women to be washed with soap and water. This process, including the field bleaching, required from six to eight months to complete.

In the late 1700s traditional methods were still in use in many mills. [and] just before this fermentation, which lasts five or six days, is finished . [Then it was carried outdoors to be bucked yet again.] From the former operation these lyes are gradually made stronger till the cloth seems of a uniform white, nor any darkness or brown color appears in its ground. At Haarlem this industry continued large and lucrative until the end of the eighteenth-century, when the modern system of bleaching by the agency of chlorine practically stifled it.

Introduction The following essay describes the materials and techniques used to make paper by hand in Europe between 13 CE. then it returns to the souring, milling, washing, bucking and watering again.

Some have questioned ending at 1800 when the real trouble with paper stability was just beginning. From the bucking it goes to the watering as formerly . These operations succeed one another alternately till the cloth is whitened, at which time it is blued, starched, and dried.

Readers interested in the briefest introduction to how sheets of paper were made by hand, pressed, and dried may wish to jump to the “Sheet Forming” section below. Lalande indicates that the women in mills in the Auvergne sorted rags into three grades: fine, medium, and coarse.

Alternatively, or in addition, they can view excellent short You Tube videos showing papermaking by hand. The next day in the morning and forenoon, it is watered twice or thrice if the day is very dry, after which it is taken up dry again . However, he adds, "Those [mills that] wish to take even more care over the sorting have up to six compartments for six grades of rag: superfine, fine, fine seams, medium, medium seams and coarse, without taking into account the extremely coarse matter which is discarded." rags with varying degrees of strength and wear react in different ways to the retting process.

Calcium and magnesium carbonate can appear as sources of hardness in ground and surface water. Raw unspun fiber, thread, and unbleached cloth waste were certainly available, but their strength in combination with their often dark color would have relegated them to use only in thicker, poorer, rougher-quality papers.

During papermaking, cellulose fiber very rapidly accumulates metals dissolved in water, be they favorable or unfavorable to the permanence of the paper. Whitened new material in the form of cuttings from garment making or other sources must also have been at hand, but its strength was still a disadvantage.

For anyone who has tried to make paper free of specks and other debris, it is not hard to imagine the concern about water quality in any mill where high-quality white paper was in production. Some are already spoilt when others have not yet shown the effects of the first fermentation; it is necessary, therefore, to put rags of similar qualities, chosen with great care, to work together if one does not wish to run the risk of ruining the whole by the inclusion of cloth which differs radically from the remainder.

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