Papermill Day and Handmade Paper

James Cropper Mill

I have been a very lucky lady! I was chosen by the wonderful people from Papermill Direct to join them on a Mill Day for bloggers. There were 4 of us in total: myself, Laura, Kim and Bev, as well as Hilary who runs Craft Blog UK. You should really check out their blogs as they are all so fab and all so different!

We were given the opportunity to go to the James Cropper mill, which Papermill Direct is a subsidiary of, and learn about how paper there is made and we also got to make our own paper with special ingredients. It was an awful lot of fun and made us all appreciate the process that is undertaken to create the paper that we all know, love and craft with.

Today I thought I’d share with you the process that we undertook when we made our own paper. I will be sharing more Mill Day pics and chatter in future posts as I have lots to say about it all.

Before we embarked on our journey to Kendal which is near to where the mill is, we had to choose something to add to our paper. I chose tea as I thought that not only would it tie in nicely with my blog (of course!) but also it would smell nice – even better when I decided that the tea of my choosing would be Redbush Chai from The Redbush Tea Company. I had sent away for some samples on their website (you can do too, right here) and had this one left, so I thought I’d give it a go. It is flavoured with fennel and cardamom so I thought it would make it scented perhaps.

Anyway, here is the process I undertook to make my own Redbush tea paper!

The Redbush Tea Company Chai

Here’s the tea that I used

Tea leaves with spices

I opened up the tea bag so that I could put the contents into the pulp mixture

Paper making pulp mixing

This is the pulp before the tea was added…

Paper making - mixing in the tea

And this is after!

How to make paper - measuring pulp

I measured the pulp out

Paper making - adding the fixing agent

Added a fixing agent (look at those sexy goggles!!)

Paper making - pour into wire frame

Once I had added more water I then poured the pulp into the wire frame

Paper making - evenly distributing pulp

Made sure the pulp was even by swishing it gently

Paper making - suck the water out with a pump

Pumped the water out, which pushed the pulp fibres together, causing them to bond

Paper making - draining off the excess water

I then drained off any excess water

Paper making - Pushing water from frame

Paper making - Almost looking like paper

Transferred the almost-paper onto a blotting sheet after pushing it down a bit

Paper making - Pressing the paper

I then used the press and popped the paper into the drying machine.

I will show you the final product in my next Mill Day post and will leave you wondering how it turned out!

So much water is used in the paper making process and at the James Cropper Mill they take water from the river, clean it, and then the water is recycled over and over again! Once it has been used too many times it is filtered and then put back into the river – cleaner than when it first came out!

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people who gave us this great opportunity and hope that everyone looks forward to seeing how the paper turned out and what I do with it!

4 thoughts on “Papermill Day and Handmade Paper”

  1. Aww, lucky you to be given the chance to go to 'The Mill'….it looked awesome. Looking forward to seeing your finished paper, and whatever you create from it 😉

  2. Great post Natalie! It was great to get to meet you and I'm glad the piccies came out so well 🙂 You look fab in a lab coat and safety goggles! Have a great week. Kim

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