Producing paper is costing us millions of trees every year which is harming our environment. A tree takes years to develop fully and our dependence on paper made from wood pulp makes it even more problematic. Resultantly, we are facing climate change, the main reason for several problems such as global warming, deforestation, increase in sea level, etc.
Most of you must be wondering that what the other option is. Because we can’t just stop using paper suddenly right and we don’t have a say in its production. So, what can we do? While most of the things are not in our hands but we can still do our bit to save the environment. All we have to do is look for sustainable options for paper made from wood pulp and replace our paper with that. For example, we can replace the paper we use for invitation cards, letters, and printing documents with sustainable one. When talking about sustainable options for paper, hemp is the best option. Through this blog, we will learn to make hemp paper at home. Excited? Before that, let’s know some basic facts about hemp paper.
Hemp Paper – A Sustainable Option
Hemp Paper is not a newly invented option for paper but in fact, it’s the oldest paper produced and used by humans. Surprised, right? Well, don’t be, because hemp has been used for making paper for a long time and it’s not a new thing.
Amazing Facts of Hemp Paper:
- It’s sustainable and eco-friendly than tree paper as it grows rapidly, requires less water and land for its cultivation, and every part of the Hemp plant can be used to make things. It also absorbs Co2 from the environment and rejuvenates soil.
- Making paper out of hemp doesn’t cause deforestation. Hemp is an annual crop and it can produce four times more paper than the tree. Also, trees take years to develop, and cutting them for paper is problematic. While, hemp has no such problems as it grows within 4 months, so it can be cultivated almost 4 times a year.
- The very first paper was made from hemp which dates back to the early Western Han Dynasty. Even the first draft of the declaration of independence was written on Hemp paper.
- The first-ever Bible was also printed on Hemp Paper.
- Hemp paper is more durable than traditional paper and it doesn’t yellow easily. The fragments of hemp paper give evidence of its incredible strength and durability. Hemp paper is also safe for maintaining important documents.
Despite so many benefits of Hemp paper it’s impossible to replace conventional paper and its demand anytime soon. Also, the technology is still underdeveloped for mass-producing hemp paper. Production costs of hemp paper are 4 times higher than conventional paper. However, you can do your bit for the environment such as you can print your invitation cards on hemp paper, use hemp paper for printing documents and letters, etc.
5 Simple Steps to Make Hemp Paper at Home
The best thing is making paper from hemp is an easy thing and similar to the conventional paper-making method. You can make hemp paper easily at home too but it requires proper attention to make as it’s slightly delicate before being dried. It can be made by using Hemp hurds or pulps and it needs pulping fibers into a mashed form.
Take a look at these simple steps to make hemp paper:-
Step 1 - Soaking Hemp Fiber
Take a large pot, put hemp fiber into it, and pour water enough to cover the fiber. Let it soak water overnight. Now, it’s time to add soda ash into the pot of fiber and water. You can buy soda ash from any nearby store. Follow the instructions on the soda ash container to acquire a perfect ratio of soda ash and water. Mix it up until it’s blended perfectly with water. Once it’s mixed perfectly, put the mix again into the pot and place it on a stove for 4 hours and after that let it sit and cool down.
Step 2 – Cleaning Hemp Fiber
The next step is to put the mix in a strainer and rinse it with clean water to remove soda ash from hemp fiber. Now make small chunks of hemp fiber and beat it into a pulp for approximately two hours in a beater. After that, place it in a bucket or tub.
Step 3 - Making Pulp Slurry
Be attentive now, as the next step is very important for making your hemp paper. Now take a large container or a vat and fill it half with clean water. Put the pulp into the container to make the pulp slurry. Now take a wood board, place it next to the container.
Step 4 – Setting up the Frame
Make sure that the wood board you are using is larger than your deckle. First, place wet blotting paper and then felt on wood board. Take deckle and mold and hold it together. Dip it into the container and lift it up carefully with slurry pulp. Tilt the deckle and mold together from side to side to drain the extra water and make sure that the pulp is coated on the top evenly.
Step 5 – Drying the Pulp
To dry the pulp, remove the deckle and flip the mold down. Press it gently to remove extra water from the wet hemp paper. Now, first put a cotton interfacing on wet hemp paper then a wool fabric sheet, and lastly, wood board and press it for 8-9 minutes.
Take one more wood board, cardboard, a blotting paper and felt and place it on one another in the same order then take out a sheet of hemp paper from the mold and place it on the top of it and cover it with felt. You can repeat this order for as much paper as you require. At last, place a heavy and even thing on the top of it. It would be better to put bricks on it and allow it to dry for 1-2 days. Lastly, separate the layers and gather the finished paper.
Ta-da! Your hemp paper is ready to use. Use it to make your birthday, wedding, or any other invitation card. Use it to write letters, making journals, etc. and it will provide a vintage look to it.
Although, these are simple steps we all have a hectic schedule out there. So, if you want to use hemp paper but don’t have much time to make it at home, don’t fret, we are here for you. Planet Green Online also has a collection of hemp paper. All of our hemp paper is THC and chemical-free. If you wish to order, then go to our Shop section on the home page and place your order of hemp paper.