A while back I made a note to myself to make paper from and old pair of jeans. I wanted to play with some fiber in a different way from felting.
The first thing I did was to cut the fabric into small 3/4″ squares, discarding the seams. Then I dragged out my old papermaking equipment which includes an ancient blender.
Using warm water I filled the bender half way, then added a pinch of the squares and ran the blender for 30 seconds or so until the water turned blue. This was a long process since I couldn’t overload the blender.
The resulting pulp was strained. When I had about a quart (1.14 liters) of pulp, I gave the blender a rest.
The set up for making the paper included a big container of water, a mould, deckle, pellon and blanket sheets. The deckle in black, the screen covered mould on the left.
Using a handful of pulp, I added it to the water and agitated it. With deckle on top of the mould, I submerged the pair into the water at a 45 degree angle and came out with a pulp filled sheet. Without going into all the nitty gritty of all the papermaking steps and terms, I couched (pressed) the paper onto a wet pellon sheet and repeated the steps until I had used up all the pulp and had a pile of sheets.
The next step was to press the paper in my homemade paper press.
After letting it sit awhile, I gently placed the paper on a white board and used a haki brush to place it on the board to dry.
Since the blender was old, the fiber didn’t get chopped very fine, but it made an interesting texture and look with the various long fibers running through the paper.
Like an old pair of well worn jeans, the paper is soft. One side is smooth where the paper dried on the whiteboard, the other is textured.
I could run it through the process again, but I think I’ll try to felt with it before I do. What would you do with denim paper?