Hello and happy summer! Today I wanted to share a process I learned right before the end of school in order to make handmade paper out of a tee shirt for my final project in my printmaking class.

The first part of this process involved choosing a tee shirt to sacrifice before cutting it into little pieces. The photo above shows the brave shirt I selected.

The next step is breaking down the tee shirt fibers. This is done using a Hollander beater- a machine with large blades that can shred the fabric into paper pulp. The photo above shows the fibers as they are being shredded. You can already see how they are starting to cling together.

After the fibers are shredded into paper pulp, the solution is put in a large tray. Using a mould and deckle, you run the mould through the water and draw it up. The metal screen drains the water out and the paper pulp clings together. Each sheet of paper pulp is stacked between rags and then drained using pressure from a hydraulic press. The sheets are then placed on racks to finish drying. Below are my sheets as they dry!

Finally, when your paper is dry, it’s ready to be printed on, made into a book, or used for any other project you have in mind. Below is a photo of my paper printed with a linocut design I carved for my final.

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