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‘Papermaking is the process of making paper, a material which is used universally today for writing and packaging.

In papermaking, a dilute suspension of fibres in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by pressing and drying to make paper.

Since the invention of the Fordrinier machine in the 19th century, most paper has been made from wood pulp because of cost. But other fibre sources such as cotton and textiles are used for high-quality papers.

One common measure of a paper's quality is its non-wood- pulp content, e.g., 25% cotton, 50% rag, etc. Previously, paper was made up of rags and hemp as well as other materials.

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Raul Aaron David, Writer
Being the change the world needs.
Corporate paper trail!
The Earthsmiles team hosted a paper making workshop at the Green for Life Foundation Green Minds Centre, Kolkata, for a few employees of DB Schenker India. The German logistics company is extremely eco-friendly and supports some of the Foundation's activities.

Kolkata – On the July 16, 2016, Green for Life foundation invited the EarthSmiles.net team to host a seminar-cum-workshop for the employees of the Kolkata branch of multinational logistical service provider DB Schenker India. The company is a supporter of green activities, including some of the Foundation's work. The seminar, held at the Green Minds Centre of the Foundation, commenced at 1:30 p.m. with Mr. Curtis Arathoon, one of the trustees, giving an introduction on EarthSmiles.net, and also the team. He then handed over the stage to another trustee, Mr. Farrell Shah, explained the process of handmade paper making. He then showed the guests an informative video on the entire process of large scale handmade paper making; at the industrial level. The industrial process uses a lot machinery, but Mr. Shah commented that there were household equivalents for all of them, which anyone could use to make paper as good or better than the large scale producers.

The guests were then taken to the next room where a temporary paper making station had been set up by the EarthSmiles.net crew. EarthSmiles.net teaches schools to set up their own waste paper recycling units inschool, so the workshop and methodology was very similar to what students are taught.

Everyone was given sheets of old printed paper to tear into bits while the rest of the details involved in the process were explained to them. The Earthsmiles.net team then demonstrated pulp making using an odinary household "Mixie" (Mixer-cum-grinder). The guest were also allowed to join in the fun of pulping the paper shreds, by adding water and blending in the mixie.

One of the EarthSmilers then used a Deckle and Mould, (equipment used for shaping and collecting pulp to form paper,) to create a perfect sheet of new handmade paper, lifting it from a trough of water, swirling with the newly created pulp.

The guests were awestruck by how perfect the sheet of paper turned out to be.

Thereafter, they were divided into groups of two to try their hand at the process while being mentored by the Earthsmilers. Once everybody had got a chance to make a sheet of hand-made paper, they were shown simple ways to decorate these sheets - from using using food colour to glitter to embellish their creations.

Earthsmiles.net had also brought along with them some products that they make with recycled paper which included notepads, bookmarks and a lantern. these were gifted to the participants.

After a short feedback session, in which the guest expressed their delight at the conduct of the workshop, ("the best workshop yet" - thank you, DB Schenker) the DB Schenker crew was awarded a certificate on behalf of Earthsmiles for their participation in the event. The certificate was made of - you guessed it - hand-made recycled paper.

Getting to grips with a deckle and mould!

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