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  • Writer's pictureMinah Song Studio

Why would you cook paper mulberry?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

In Asian papermaking, cooking process affects visual specifications, strength and permanence of paper. If fibers are not sufficiently cooked, beating fibres becomes difficult and well beaten fibres are critical for good sheet formation.

Typically, unbuffered paper made from paper mulberry has a pH in neutral ranges. If the papers do not have a kind of alkaline reserve - often obtained from fillers - but have a high pH value, it is possible to consider that cooking alkali was not thoroughly washed and left residues in the fibres. A study showed, that residual mild alkali can improve the buffering capacity of paper. If pH of finished paper, however, is higher than neutral ranges, conservators should consider the working properties of the paper with pH sensitive objects.

Paper cooked with wood ash and soda ash has more natural tone and glossiness since those are gentler with fibres. On the other hand, paper cooked with caustic soda exhibits whiter, cleaner, less glossy appearances. Cooking with slaked lime produces softer paper and gives slight yellowish to pinkish hue to the paper.

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