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That Doesn’t Look Like My Old Jeans

That Doesn’t Look Like My Old Jeans

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.

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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.

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The resulting pulp was strained.  When I had about a quart (1.14 liters) of pulp, I gave the blender a rest.

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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.

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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.

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The next step was to press the paper in my homemade paper press.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Denim Notebooks

Denim Notebooks

I remembered recently that I have a huge bag of denim scraps, so when I was thinking of making a couple of new notebook covers, I got it out and had a look through. I wanted a really ‘worn’ and ‘used’ look to it, so I chose pieces from where pockets had been taken off, and pieces from the seams and hems. Once I’d torn strips to the size I wanted, I removed the extra threads and then sewed them onto a base piece of denim. Then I added a delrin clip so I could close it.

bookFor the second one, I wanted a slightly less ‘scruffy’ look, but didn’t want it too neat, so I used strips torn from where a pocket was taken off, so I’d still get some darker patches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also added a delrin clip to close this one too

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did like the look of it, but it looked a little bit too ‘neat’ still, so I put it in with a load of laundry then hung it in the sun to dry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think this looks much better now that the frayed edges are softer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just wanted to say thank you to everyone who comments on Facebook when my posts are published there. I hope you don’t think I’m ignorant for never replying, but I don’t have a facebook account so I can’t, but I do appreciate the comments, likes and shares, thanks 🙂  I’d also like to apologise in advance for not commenting on flickr. The new changes are really not good for me. I have dodgy vision and the new ‘design’ is a violent visual onslaught for me, it gives me a headache to try to use it and causes my vision problems to get worse. So I probably won’t use it much until they change it back or I’ll go to ipernity with everyone else.

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