Brands: Khadi Papers

Khadi Papers:

Khadi papers are an M.E.S. favourite, not just to work with, but because of how they are made. Learn more about the process of crafting Khadi's popular cotton rag papers.

The Materials:

Khadi Fine Art Papers  - Melbourne Etching Supplies - Fine Art Materials Online

Khadi Papers are made in Karnataka, South India, and they are made from100% cotton rag. Cotton rags have longer fibres than linters - which are the short fluffy fibres of the cotton seed often used in papermaking. Genuine rag papers are rare and it is the fibre length of this raw material that gives Khadi rag papers their exceptional strength and durability.

The cotton rag used for Khadi Papers comes from remnant T-shirt cuttings, a reliable source of pure woven cotton. Rags are pulped in a Hollander beater, where a neutral pH internal size is added. Khadi rag papers are the only handmade papers in India made with neutral pH size and so they are the only ones that are genuinely acid free!

The Papermaking Process:

Handmade papers are made sheet by sheet and not in a continuous roll. Cotton fibres, suspended in water, are poured onto a paper mould (this is a hand held wooden frame with a stainless steel wire mesh that allows the excess water to drain away). Felts are used to press the sheet into shape before loft drying. Once dry, the sheets are surface sized with gelatine, giving them a hard, water resistant surface.

This is the traditional method of sizing paper for watercolour, allowing the watercolour to be worked over the surface without penetrating the paper. Khadi Papers can be used with all painting and drawing media, and are popular amongst our relief printing customers. Oil paints may also be used on Khadi Papers, but priming with gesso or acrylic primer is required.

Sustainable Practices:

Khadi Fine Art Papers - Melbourne Etching Supplies - Fine Art Materials Online

Khadi Papers not only use off-cuts from neighbouring cotton production houses to make their papers, but they also use a variety of other recycled materials, such as jute sacks, and other tropical crop residual fibres such as banana leaf and sugar cane. None of their papers are made from wood pulp, and as such, they have no negative impact on India's forests.

While Papermaking is totally dependent on water, they have their own bore and use a variety of rainwater capturing methods, ensuring at all times that no water is wasted. Whilst 'virgin' water is used first for white papers, it is then recycled and reused for light colours, then dark colours and then for crop fibre papers. No chlorine, no bleach and no harmful chemicals are used in any process, and the final run-off is pH neutral, where is is then used on their organic farm. 

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