Methylcellulose cheap alternatives

General discussion area for learning about paper, and the different types available.
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Origami_Hunt
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Polyvinyl acetate (PVA)

Post by Origami_Hunt »

I believe Sirgo's paper is tissue paper treated with PVA. The result is a thin but strong paper even when a single sheet of paper is used. It feels a bit plasticky (a bit more than MC double tissue). The paper wants to unfold a little bit. Similar in this sense to the gelatine-treated tissue paper. The problem

PVA revisited (2021-02-22)

My initial experience with PVA was poor. The paper was strong, but it had a plastic character that made the folds unfold. Since then, I have realised that diluting PVA reduces the problem considerably. The dilution depends on the brand of PVA you have and the requirements of the model you want to fold. This is also the case with all sizing agents, including methylcellulose.

Conclusion: PVA is useful if you dilute it enough.

I have folded a simplified version of Sipho Mabona's elephant using diluted PVA and double-tissue (30 cm):
Image


You can use PVA with other sizing agents to solve various problems. For example:

- The sugar present in some sizing agents makes the paper brittle. A bit of PVA will solve the problem.
- Some sizing agents become less crisp when the ambient is humid or if your fingers have some moisture. This is the case of potato starch and to a lesser extent of gelatine. A bit of PVA solves the problem.
- It improves egg-white power double tissue making it close to methylcellulose double tissue.

Image

Last meaningful update: the 26th of February 2021

Index of sizing agents
Last edited by Origami_Hunt on March 10th, 2021, 10:05 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Rice

Post by Origami_Hunt »

I am also testing rice flour. In the meanwhile here you have a video on how to make double tissue with rice flour (the author is Little Origami Genius, not me):



Have a look at the models this guy folds using this method; they are nice.



And here you have Kamiya's Ryyujin 3.5 folded using double tissue treated with rice paste. Folded by Little Origami Genius, not by me.



Rice starch as a surface treatment of paper has been used in paper production in China since 700 CE.

Image

I folded this model using this method. 40 cm square non-bleeding tissue.


Image

Marc Kirschenbaum - Teddy Bear

Index of sizing agents.

I have folded Noboru Mijayima's bat using bleeding double tissue treated with rice paste:

Image

Last meaningful edit: 16th of June 2021
Last edited by Origami_Hunt on February 4th, 2021, 8:01 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Wheat flour and sugar

Post by Origami_Hunt »

I described how to use wheat flour before. Since then I have seen recipes calling to add sugar to the flour, so I tried. The result made the double-tissue more susceptible to humidity. In addition, sugar makes the paper easy to rip if the paper gets dry. This was not the case when I used wheat flour without sugar.

I had similar problems with potato starch on its own. Most starches I know are long chains of sugars. I believe these strengthen the paper. Simple sugar molecules, like the ones in table sugar, are too small to do the job. I suspect the problem with the potato starch I bought is that it had more simple sugars that other starches. For example, the dry potato mush I bough has 1.2 g of small sugars per 100 grams of product; the wheat and corn flours that I bought have less than ten times this amount (0.1-0.2 grams per 100 grams of product).

Read here the results of using sugar to treat tissue paper.

Bottom line: do not add sugar. And if you are using a food product as a sizing agent, check that it does not contain more than 0.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product.

Image Image
Updated the 26th of May 2020

Index of sizing agents
Last edited by Origami_Hunt on January 2nd, 2021, 11:29 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Milk powder

Post by Origami_Hunt »

I tried this one out of curiosity. Recipes for double tissue:

I guess this works because the proteins in the milk will stretch and entangle. Similar to gelatine (although the proteins in gelatine are different).

Recipe

Two tablespoons of semi-skimmed milk powder.
A cup of water (less than half a pint).
You do not need to worm it up. Just make sure it dissolves.

I tested the double tissue produced with powdered milk folding Brian Chan's katydid. The paper was initially crisp, but it became soft (but usable) when handling). Then I tried folding a rose. Here I did not need to handle the paper that much so the paper remained crisp.

It seems quite sensitive to humidity. It could be used as an additive to other MC substitutes.

EDIT: a bit of PVA will cure the problem.

Try it if you are curious. Have fun!

Where to find it

Image

Last meaningful update: the 28th of December 2020

Index of sizing agents
Last edited by Origami_Hunt on December 28th, 2020, 12:48 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Kabuntan
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by Kabuntan »

I'm a bit curious about the life span of those origami, using milk (and the sugar one too) mixture.
Won't the milked paper get sour(?) (rotten?) after a while? Isn't it emitting a smell that might attract insects or other creatures?
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Paper lifespan

Post by Origami_Hunt »

Hi Kabuntan,

There is a bit a sour smell but you cannot smell it is you do not take the model close to your nose. You can simply add a bit of perfume to the paper.
I can not tell how long the milk paper is going to last; the one I made four months ago is fine; other papers that I made a year ago are fine too. I suspect the colour of the paper will fade before the paper is affected by bugs. I have tissue foil sandwich papers that I prepared using wheat four or five years ago and they are fine.

Index of sizing agents
Last edited by Origami_Hunt on September 18th, 2020, 8:39 am, edited 5 times in total.
Kabuntan
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by Kabuntan »

Thanks for the answer, you are conducting really interesting experiments.
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by OrigamiasaEnthusiast »

Kabuntan wrote:Thanks for the answer, you are conducting really interesting experiments.
Agreed, these are cool experiments, question:would toothpaste work lol probably not but do you think it could?And what about elmer's glue?

Edit:sorry for my stupidity :wink: :oops:
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Toothpaste and Elmer's glue

Post by Origami_Hunt »

Most toothpastes may not work because they lack the long molecules required to strengthen the paper; these are present in starches (amylose and amylopectin) and in gelatine and milk (proteins). Egg white is quite likely to work too because it contains a lot of ovalbumin (a protein). To generalise, any type of long molecule should work (agar-agar, alginates, synthetic polymers, etc.). The question is which substitutes are useful for what.

Regarding Elmer's glue, it is quite likely to work. It is a mixture of polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polyvinyl alcohol, and propylene glycol. PVA forms strong papers with a plasticky feeling (more than MC). I believe Manuel Sirgo's paper is tissue treated with PVA. Incidentally, the protein-based products I have tried produced a plasticky feeling too, some times even more than MC.

EDIT: Some toothpastes actually have variants of methylcellulose, so perhaps they work.

Index of sizing agents
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by OrigamiasaEnthusiast »

Yeah, the toothpaste one was stupid :wink: but cool!
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by Origami_Hunt »

Hey, until you try you don't know.

Have fun trying!
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by OrigamiasaEnthusiast »

Thanks!
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by OrigamiasaEnthusiast »

Have you tried Epolene, Polyox WSR N10 100, Cellosize, Ethocel, or Walocell? Lol I just looked up adhesive thickeners and found www.chempoint.com (found some...)
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Epolene, Polyox, Cellosize, Ethocel, and Walocell

Post by Origami_Hunt »

Gee, so many things to try!

Well, all of these are polymeric long molecules may strengthen the paper; however, some of them may make the paper too rigid. This may be the case of Epolene. I am not sure about Polyox. The others are similar to methylcellulose (MC), for example:

Cellosize is hydroxyethylcellulose. Should work.
Ethocel is ethylcellulose. It is not soluble in water. Should not work.
Walocell is Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose. I believe it is more soluble in water than MC. It does work. If you search the forum, you will find 92 entries related to CMC. You can find it on Amazon.

Thanks for the tip and have fun!

Index of sizing agents
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Re: MC substitutes: starches, gelatine, PVA, etc.

Post by OrigamiasaEnthusiast »

You're welcome! I will :wink: also, you can use http://www.chempoint.com as I said earlier, it might have some stuff.
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