Variations for Japanese Knotweed Paper composite


Japanese Knotweed Paper composite

Created By: Marina Belintani  
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Step one

Wash the stems and soak them in water overnight.

Step two

On the next day, add water (7 litres) and calcium carbonate into the cooking pot. Once it is boiling, add the stems, close the pot with a lead and let them cook for 3 hours. You can also use a pressure cooker for this process. If the stems are too stiff, you will need to cook them for a longer period (it will depend what season you harvested the stems). This process is important to soften the fibre.

Step three

Drain the water, and wash the stems well under running water. At this stage, for a paper with a more homogeneous and clear texture, you must remove the outer bark with your hands or scraping with a knife.

Step four

On a flat and firm surface, place a towel and gather together some stems on top. On a flat and firm surface, place a towel and gather together some stems on top. With a hammer, beat hard for several times so that the stalks come apart and become softer. Afterwards, use a blender to get a pulpy texture (add water).

Step five

Add water and gum arabic in a large container. You will need a deep, large container to dip your wooden screen into.

Step six

Pour the blended pulp into the container and stir the solution with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. The process of immersing the screen in the solution must be fast and as long as the solution is in motion. The solution must be in motion before immersing the screen into the water and also when removing it.

Step seven

You should start by dipping the screen vertically and when you get close to the bottom of the container, flip it horizontally and remove it from the water quickly.

Step eight

When removing from the water, transfer the pulp to the metal screen by turning it downwards. To transfer the pulp to the metal screen, you need to remove excess water. With the wooden screen still facing down, take a dry towel and squeeze firmly to suck up the water and in this way peel the pulp off the wooden screen.

Step nine

Gently remove the wooden screen. At this stage, all pulp must be on the metal screen.

Step ten

Let it dry for a few days (it will depend on the weather). When it is completely dry, you can peel from the metal mesh.