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Khadi

Khadi

Handmade Khadi Papers produced in Hubli, South India.
Khadi rag papers are made from 100% cotton rag. Cotton rags have longer fibres than linters which are the shorter fluffy fibres of the cotton seed generally 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 comes from T-shirt cuttings, a reliable source of pure woven cotton.

Handmade Khadi Papers produced in Hubli, South India.
Khadi rag papers are made from 100% cotton rag. Cotton rags have longer fibres than linters which are the shorter fluffy fibres of the cotton seed generally 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 comes from T-shirt cuttings, a reliable source of pure woven cotton.
Rags are pulped in a Hollander beater. Neutral pH internal size (glue) is added at this stage. 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.
Coloured papers are dyed in the beater using direct dyes from Ciba and Clariant which are ISO 9001 accredited and meet European standards on effluence and toxicology. Increasingly we are sourcing coloured rags enabling us to reduce or entirely avoid the use of dye.
Handmade papers are made sheet by sheet, not in a continuous roll. Cotton fibres in suspension in water are poured onto the paper mould. The mould is a wooden frame with a wire mesh draining surface. A second frame, the deckle, rests on top.
The sheet is formed on the mould in a vat of water. The process involves a very small amount of fibre and a lot of water. The fibre is retained on the surface of the mould while the water drains through the mesh. The characteristic deckle edges of the sheet of paper come from the slippage of pulp between the deckle and mould.
The mould is lifted from the vat and the sheet is laid or couched onto a woollen felt. Another felt is placed on top and the process is repeated. When a pile of sheets interleaved with felts has been made they are pressed in a hydraulic press to remove excess water.
Rough surfaced papers retain the impression of the woollen felt. Smooth papers are cold pressed between zinc sheets.
Papers are loft dried. After drying, sheets are tub sized (surface sized) with gelatine which produces a hard, water resistant surface. This is the traditional way of sizing paper for watercolour, allowing watercolour to be worked over the surface without penetrating the paper. The papers can be used with all painting and drawing media. For painting in oils they should be primed with gesso or acrylic primer. The surface of Khadi papers is rough and uneven so is suited to loose painting styles and mixed media pieces and the edges deckled (uncut).

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