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Why I love Handmade Paper

Why I Love Handmade Paper - Fine Art Calligraphy
Handmade Paper Stack - Fine Art Calligraphy

Stack of Handmade Paper in Assorted Colours

I have a passion for handmade paper,  as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make my own creations on this gorgeous paper.  I found my first supplier here in the UK and as soon as the package landed on my doorstep I oohed and ahhed over the texture of the paper and admired it’s perfectly imperfect nature.

The edges were all different and so fluffy – I now know this is called ‘deckled’ and while to some people this may seem unfinished and uneven, to me that is part of its beauty and unique charm.  Each piece is made by hand using traditional techniques, many have been passed down through families and have been used for historical documents.  I have spent hours looking at different suppliers and their processes to find the perfect fit for my business, both in their philosophy and quality.

I match the paper to every client depending on their requirements. Handmade paper can come in different colours, sizes, weight and texture, many pieces have matching envelopes in different colours.  In this modern age handmade paper may seem an unusual choice for wedding or personal stationery but once you hold a piece in your hand you will understand why I am so passionate about this beautiful paper.  Not only is it soft, you can see and feel the pulp that has been carefully pressed and shaped into these stunning pieces to end up as a heirloom stationery, love letters, business cards or anything you wish to be made with it.  When combined with my calligraphy that has been created just for you the end result is totally unique and special to reflect you and your personality.

I have wonderful suppliers in Spain, Italy, the UK and in America all with their own wonderful heritage and processes, I recently received a gorgeous box from my supplier in Italy.  I was blown away by its beauty, I appreciate every shape especially the handmade envelopes complete with deckled edges.  They sent me paper made with hay, flowers and in different colours, they also included a booklet about their history and pictures of their family factory.  I love this!  I can really appreciate the time that has gone into making everything that I received.

Josephina Semi-Custom Wedding Invitation Calligraphy and Design - Fine Art Calligraphy

Josephina Suite with Matching Grey Envelope

How is Handmade Paper Created?

Each company or person will have their own way of creating handmade paper and if you look online you can see many examples which broadly consists of the following steps:

  • The paper begins with some material, often cotton rag, plant material or recycled paper which is cut up or mashed.  This is then combined with water over heat for a period of time or left overnight with cold water, then drained and made into a pulp.
  • The pulp is then placed into a large bowl with water, and stirred.
  • With the use of a deckle and mould (which looks like two large frames) and has a former in the middle (this looks like a large sieve), the pulp is collected in the former and with a good shake the water will drain through.
  • The paper is then turned out of the deckle and mould and with the former still on the back the paper is placed on a thin fabric sheet. The former is removed and leftover water is squeezed out then left to dry for hours.
  • Voila, one sheet of handmade paper is created!

It may seem strange that the price of handmade paper is more expensive than other papers but when you consider the time that goes into making just one sheet, you can understand.

I am a bit of a paper geek and have a cupboard full of paper and card samples, if I’m honest I love all paper and if handmade paper isn’t for you I have paper and card that is equally beautiful, or if you love handmade paper and want to have your stationery created using this traditional technique then just send me an inquiry to get the ball rolling or take a look at my semi-custom suites that can all be printed on handmade paper!