Handmade paper making business is a great idea to start your journey towards your dream of setting an eco-friendly venture. Since most of the raw materials like banana fiber, wood, grass, jute, straw, cotton rags, waste paper etc are of low cost and easily available, you can start the business at a small-scale with moderate investment. Moreover, there is a growing demand of handmade papers in our country as well as in abroad. By exporting this paper and its product, it is possible to make a handful of money provided you have proper business plan and marketing strategies. In this post, I want to introduce you with the all important facts related to handmade paper making business.
Historical Background of Handmade Paper Making
Handmade paper making business started in India in the eight century. It was a very successful venture that brought in a lot of goodwill until the invention of the paper mill that could produce paper in commercial quantities during the British rule. The trade name given to manufacturers of handmade papers is kagazies. It is worthy of note that most of these kagazies are Muslims residing in Sangaver in Rajasthan. Other places where they could be found are at Kalpi in U.P and Erandole in Pune, Maharashtra. It could be made from banana fibers and waste papers. However, you need a building on a land with an area of three thousand square feet having a water facility on it in order to begin successfully.
The Raw Materials Used in Making Handmade Paper
Handmade paper are produced with some raw materials like waste paper, banana fiber, bleaching powder, cotton rags, bleaching powder, diacol/wet additive, titanium dioxide, liquid rosin soap, alum, and whitening agents.
Forms of Handmade Paper
During the production of handmade paper, several products are manufactured that could be useful in various ways. Some of the forms of handmade paper are
- Drawing paper for artwork
- Calligraphy paper
- Permanent document paper
- Exclusive greeting cards
- Invitation card
- Tissue papers
- Origami paper
- Filter paper and pads
- Duplicating paper
- Water mark paper for certificates
- Insulation paper
- Dark colored card sheets
- Unique carry bags
- File covers, paper envelops, paper diaries
- Card and pen holders
- Letter pads
Features and Attributes of Handmade Paper
As a peculiar product in the industry, this paper has some outstanding and excellent features and attributes that made it a market leader because most people prefer it to the paper made in the mill. These features includes
- Handmade papers have excellent textures suitable for drawings making them the preferred form by engineers and artists.
- It is flexible and ductile and cannot easily tear, fold, or become frail and weak due to ageing.
- The quality and smoothness of its surface is good for writing.
- You can use the various fanciful handmade papers to wrap items and for other decorative purposes.
- This paper looks hard, strong, and durable compared to other papers.
- It’s 100% recycled and 100% natural thus safe for our environment.
The Machinery Needed in Starting Handmade Paper Making Business
You need to know about the handmade paper making machines that can help you to be effective and productive in this business. Some of these machinery are dusting box, rag chopper 10 inches blade, beater 24 inches by 56 inches, auto vat 44 inches by 56 inches, hydraulic press 35 inches by 45 inches, calendaring machine 12 inches by 36 inches with 7.5 HP, and other machines and accessories.
Handmade Paper Making Process
Let us study the systematic processes toward the manufacturing of handmade paper.
- Locating and procurement of cotton rags
The most important step is the locating and procurement of cotton rags and it is also the basis of the project; you need to get this item before you can proceed into the finishing of the production process.
- Using Knives or mechanized rag chopper tocut the cotton rags
You need to use power operated rag chopper or simply apply knives to cut the cotton rags into small pieces. This will make it easier for you to work on the material.
- Wire mesh frame could be used to dust the cut materials
If you want to get a clean production, you need to clean and dust cut materials with wire mesh frame.
- The pulp beater is used to beat the cut and dusted material
At this stage, you will use the pulp beater to beat the cut and dusted material into pulp.
- Use the washer drum to wash the material
You can use the washer drum to wash the material in order to make it clean and neat.
- Add natural fillers, dyes, and chemicals
The pulp should be beaten repeatedly as you are adding some natural fillers, dyes, and chemicals to the mixture.
- Wet sheets could be lifted using auto vats
Auto vats can help you to lift wet sheets using wire mesh frames by pouring a measure of pulp into the mould or by dipping it into the original vat loaded with pulp.
- Removing the wet sheet
Now, you can transfer or move the wet sheet over to the cloth napkin or woven felt by pressing the mould gently.
- Couching and lifting process
This entails the process of continuous dipping of the wet sheets into containers as each interlaced with cloth felt.
- At this stage, you can use hydraulic process to press the pile of leaves together.
- Separation of pressed sheets
You should separate pressed sheets from the couching cloth and allow drying indoors naturally.
- Using your hand to remove dirt and speckle
- Dip drawing and documents papers, certificates in animal glue in a tub.
- Ensure to apply starch and dry again to reinforce features like durability, permanence, and hardness.
- Use a calendaring machine to calendar dried papers
- Lastly, you can sort, cut, trim, and pack papers neatly.
If you apply these processes, you will surely have a good handmade paper.
Market Potential of Handmade Paper Making Business
Handmade paper making business has a bright future ahead because of its unique characteristics and ever-increasing demand in the international market. “According to the Khadi & Village Industries commission, the combined production of 310 working handmade paper production units in India amounts to some 7000 tons per year. This sector produces goods valued at $2.5 million with a work force of 5300 persons.” A major quantity of the handmade paper and boards produced here is exported to mainly U.K, U.S.A, Netherlands, Germany and Egypt.