Monday, 16 February 2009

Types of paper for Papier Mache

Fiddling with getting a head from a hole and trying variants on papier mache has made me ponder the intriguing technicalities of it all.

So what paper is best to use? Two types I like are brown paper and tissue paper.

Brown wrapping paper is hardish to work as it tends to stay flat as a sheet, and does not take kindly to corners where it creases if the pieces are too large especially if they are square. Thi smakes it difficult when using loulds, especially when complicated or detailed. Thin long strips are the most effective, as they can be curled around anything without rucking up. Its pressed surface is not that absorbant, but it does have good fibres when torn. Its main plus is that it has grain and is strong like wood. Once laminated, it is fantastically strong for its weight like plywood, but shaped.

Brown paper sands well, although this is also depends on the type of glue used too.

Tissue paper is great for pushing into moulds when wetted with glue. It mushes up a treat. When using it, the finished papier mache is nearer pulped papier mache than brown paper, but for thin layers, it is just not as strong as brown paper and is more like fibre board.

Kitchen roll paper is good being tough but pliant. However it usually comes as two ply, which can separate later. Better is the green single ply tissue that is used as hand towels in washrooms.

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