The paper used in all our projects is made of natural fibres from banana stems, mulberry bark, pineapple leaves and many other plants grown in the backyard of the studio or sourced locally. At Paper Destination we aim to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible by sourcing raw material locally. The fibres are extracted from the plants mainly by retting, a process that involves steeping in rainwater for six weeks or more allowing microbes to degrade non fibre plant parts. Further refining of the fibres is done by boiling in lye or caustic soda for two to four hours followed by washing to remove black liquor. Fibres are pulped either by hand beating with a wooden mallet on a smooth stone, or using a kitchen grinder, the kind used to make rice batter. Depending on end use, the pulp is bleached with hydrogen peroxide. Paper is made in vats using a standard mould and deckle, couched on cotton cloth, pressed between wooden boards to squeeze out excess water, and air dried.
Why are paper edges irregular
Handmade paper is made by dipping a net covered frame (the mould) coupled with a second frame (the deckle) into a vat containing the paper pulp and drawing it out of the vat with a thin layer of fibre deposited on the net. The edges of the sheet are limited by the deckle, which is then removed before couching the new sheet on cotton or felt cloth. As the newly deposited fibre is very fragile, the edges of the paper often become irregular. Deckle edges are therefore a characteristic feature of handmade paper.
How to care for paper craft items
If properly cared for, the lampshades and wall art will last for decades. Items crafted by Paper Destination mostly use acid free paper, the colours will not change. Nevertheless, they are meant for indoor use and should be protected from excessive heat, humidity, strong light, and sharp objects. In most cases they have been given a light coating of poly urethane finish to repel dust and moisture. For purposes of improving durability, some of the more fragile papers have been laminated with PET plastic films. Periodic dusting with a soft brush or cloth will keep your items looking good. Also, it is important to use only LED bulbs of less than 5W, and keep away from incandescent bulbs and naked flames.
We recommend that pulp art be framed without glass since paper, like canvas, needs to breathe.