Good raw materials are the foundation of good products, and the same principle applies to printed matter.
As the most indispensable material of the printing industry, paper is how to make it?
Let’s go into the world of paper.
If you can master the basic knowledge of paper, when choosing paper, you will not blindly choose.
Understanding paper can also help you “choose materials by design” and make the most of the properties of paper in your products.
In essence, the basic raw materials of the modern paper industry are the same as those of centuries ago. The former is only a modernized process updated on the basis of the latter.
The raw materials used to make paper in the 21st century are the same as those used by Cai Lun, the inventor of paper making in China more than 2,000 years ago — natural fibers and water.
The Chinese spread the revolutionary invention of papermaking to the Islamic Empire, who in turn introduced it to Europe.
It was this spread that made paper the fuel for Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press (in the 15th century).
For centuries, paper and book making have been closely associated with the emergence of letters as a form of communication.
In the early days of China, the paper industry was labor-intensive. Today, the paper industry is highly mechanized.
Today, whether in mechanized modern factories or handmade paper studios, the principle of paper making remains the same — paper is made by connecting fibres.
Most of the fiber comes from trees, but it can also be obtained from flax, cotton, and other plant materials such as bamboo.
The paper industry itself has developed techniques for making recycled paper from recycled fibres.
Even so, most of today’s paper is still made from wood.
According to the specific requirements of the finished paper after printing, paper engineers blend hardwood from hardwood trees with softwood wood from coniferous families to achieve the desired properties of paper.
Hardwood has shorter fibers and stability.
In the process of printing (ink covering), this feature of short fiber makes the expression of color on the paper very stable.
On the contrary, the long fibers of softwood wood have good flexibility, which can give paper excellent foldability.
These properties are important for packaging, cartons, or any other product that needs to be folded from multiple angles.