Mulberry Paper

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Postby FunkeeFolder » July 29th, 2005, 2:40 am

That Thia Elephant Dung has a nice color to it I must say! It looks like it holds creases pretty well or am I seeing things? :? But besides that I found that Mulberry makes me sneeze! The fluff that gets created when you run your finger over a crease to much floats up and then Achooooo!!! :lol: It thus also creats a fuzzy model which is good for some animals but for a shark (Joseph Wu's) I folded it looks sorta funny up close (besides that it looks brillant!) I will try to use a damp towel to flatten the fuzz or is there a better way?

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Postby Joseph Wu » July 29th, 2005, 5:18 am

Lay the paper on a flat waterproof surface such as a glass tabletop or a sheet of plexiglass. (I used to use my glass patio door...) Brush on methylcellulose paste until the paper is soaked through and it sticks to the surface. Allow it to dry slowly. Peel it off, and cut it square. You'll be left with a sheet of paper that is stiffer and that does not fuzz (much).

Of course, you'll need to experiment with the amount of paste and the consistency of it.
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Postby wolf » July 29th, 2005, 5:37 am

Joseph Wu wrote:Allow it to dry slowly.

I'll add that it might be good to weigh down the edges of the paper as it dries. Some fibre paper tends to shrink unevenly during the drying process, and the eventual warping makes it hard to cut accurate squares.
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Postby cavemanboon » July 29th, 2005, 2:09 pm

hi wolf,

do u know of any shop(s) in singapore or malaysia where i can buy methylcellulose?
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Postby wolf » July 29th, 2005, 5:04 pm

I haven't attempted to buy any yet, but there's about 500 chemical suppliers listed in http://www.yellowpages.com.sg, so it should be no problem finding someone who sells the stuff (Unilite Chemicals, for example). Now, whether they're willing to sell you a bottle, or if there's a minimum order of 1 tonne, I have no idea... :D
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Postby FunkeeFolder » July 29th, 2005, 7:09 pm

Sounds good! Thanks Joseph and Wolf. :) I'll look for it at my local hardware store.

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Postby Joseph Wu » July 29th, 2005, 11:14 pm

If you can't get pure methylcellulose (MC), you can use wallpaper paste. The main ingredient is MC, but it smells bad because of the other ingredients (mainly preservatives, I think).

Other options include any sort of vegetable starch paste (thinned out) such as wheat or rice paste. Here's a recipe for making your own.

If you don't mind some residue on your waterproof surface, you can even thin out normal white glue for this purpose.

By the way, this is the standard technique for making soft papers foldable. You can take it one step further and do backcoating. Simply lay on another sheet of paper, in a different colour if you prefer, smooth out all of the bubbles, and apply another layer of paste (less this time, since there's already some on the bottom layer). Backcoating makes for even stronger paper (that can be wet-folded if you're careful), and allows you to make two-sided paper.
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Postby cavemanboon » July 30th, 2005, 2:57 am

Wolf wrote :
I haven't attempted to buy any yet, but there's about 500 chemical suppliers listed in http://www.yellowpages.com.sg, so it should be no problem finding someone who sells the stuff (Unilite Chemicals, for example). Now, whether they're willing to sell you a bottle, or if there's a minimum order of 1 tonne, I have no idea...

thanks for the info. yeah, i guess many of these suppliers would rather deal in bulk. anyway, will try to call them up the next time i am in singapore.

Joseph wrote :
Other options include any sort of vegetable starch paste (thinned out) such as wheat or rice paste.

i haven't been folding much for close to a year already but prior to that i was experimenting with tapioca starch paste. it works quite well on mulberry papers although i have no basis for comparison since i haven't tried out MC or the other stuff yet.
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Postby Joseph Wu » July 30th, 2005, 3:43 am

And I've not tried tapioca starch paste, but I imagine it would be similar to using wheat paste or rice paste. I know that Yoshizawa used to use wheat paste and rice paste to backcoat papers for folding.
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Postby FunkeeFolder » July 30th, 2005, 4:01 am

Cool! I have some flour in my pantry so I'll have to try this out on some of my mulberry paper. Also Cavemanboon what is this tapioca starch paste? How would you make it?

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Postby wolf » July 30th, 2005, 5:13 am

Starch paste is an easy way of making large quantities of paper glue, eg for use in papiermache. It's also used to thicken gravies. :)

I found that all-purpose flour doesn't work that well (lower starch content, perhaps?), but things like tapioca flour, sweet potato flour or cornstarch produce much sticker glues. The method is simple: just shake up a quantity of the flour with cold water so you get a powder suspension in the water, then heat this to boiling, adding more starch if necessary, and then cool it down. Because dry starch often clumps together, dumping spoonfuls of starch into hot boiling water is a bad idea - you'll end up with a glob of powdered starch trapped in a gooey shell. As for how much starch you need to add, I don't usually bother with quantities; if it doesn't look thick enough, just heat up what you have and add more dry starch. The problem with using starch is that it attracts bugs and mold, especially in the tropics. :D Tapioca and sweet potato flour can usually be found in the Asian ethnic stores.

Boon, if you're looking into getting MC/CMC, email me and we can put in a joint order if we need to meet a minimum order requirement.
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Postby cavemanboon » July 30th, 2005, 7:54 am

yes, joseph, i have also read somewhere that yoshizawa used some kind of wheat paste to make washi hold creases better.

funkeefolder, in addition to what wolf mentioned, u should use freshly prepared starch paste. in the tropics, the paste becomes watery after a day or two.

wolf, i have heard or read about the problem with bugs and mold but so far, i haven't personally experienced that yet. have u? anyway, the next time i have a chance, i should check closely the stuff that i have folded to make sure. as for the joint order for MC/CMC, will email u soon.
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Postby wolf » July 30th, 2005, 10:23 am

cavemanboon wrote:wolf, i have heard or read about the problem with bugs and mold but so far, i haven't personally experienced that yet. have u?

I think it depends on how you keep the paper and what you do with it. I backcoated some white unryu with starch once but didn't get around to folding it; the paper turned yellow after a week or so and started stinking to high heaven. This was in the middle of a muggy New York summer, so guess what it'll do over here. :D

I suspect what you'll have to do is to varnish or lacquer the finished model once it's shaped and dried (microwave ovens dry paper really really fast), otherwise it'll just reabsorb water and reform into a big gloopy mess.
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Postby FunkeeFolder » July 30th, 2005, 5:04 pm

Ok I'll have varnish my backcoated paper because where I live it is verrrrrry humid at times! Also I just remembered that I've made starch glue before. It was for some old project I did or something, so I've forgotten how to make it though, so thanks Wolf!

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Postby cavemanboon » July 31st, 2005, 12:57 pm

wolf wrote:I think it depends on how you keep the paper and what you do with it. I backcoated some white unryu with starch once but didn't get around to folding it; the paper turned yellow after a week or so and started stinking to high heaven. This was in the middle of a muggy New York summer, so guess what it'll do over here.

i haven't backcoated any white papers with tapioca starch paste before. will try to do so one of these days and see if they turn yellow or stink. i suspect they won't. anyway, will let u know.

wolf wrote:I suspect what you'll have to do is to varnish or lacquer the finished model once it's shaped and dried (microwave ovens dry paper really really fast), otherwise it'll just reabsorb water and reform into a big gloopy mess.

some folders have suggested that to me but i have yet to try varnishing or lacquering. in any case, i don't think any of the models that i have folded with backcoated papers have reabsorbed water or at least if they have, it hasn't been noticeable. the last time i saw the lang tarantula (which i had folded definitely more than a year ago) was a couple of months ago. it still looked firm and solid. am i missing something here? or is tapioca starch possibly more stable than the other starches?
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