Food colouring is unlikely to work well. It would run the moment the resulting paper hit any water, and would fade fast. Food colouring doesn't bond to plant fibres like it does to protein fibres. You would want a more commercial grade dye, or start with coloured papers.
I've made paper using other methods including Bill Nye's "pantyhose/clothes hanger" method. One thing I found especially useful is to iron the paper with a standard clothes iron set on a low setting. I slip it between two commercial sheets of paper then press it for a few minutes. Once I'm sure the last of the water has been heated out of the paper, I take off the commercial paper and give it a quick pressing right on the ironing board.I've made paper from old newspaper (very coarse and not good with runny inks), computer paper (good with pencils), old blue jeans (pretty light blue paper with interesting qualities) and dryer lint (odd colors depending on what I ran through the dryer).
Behind the various design and patterns developed by the handmade watermark technique at our partner factory, now watermark paper is applied not only traditional utilization but also for the handicraft, packaging, covering and wrapping by adding a value of screen printing. The watermark gives you another visual effect besides the screen print art.
The first series come with a theme of Flora and Plant. The thinner paper 20gsm, 47cm x 64cm size, gives rich transparent effect from the watermark and possibly suitable for the use of gorgeous gift wrapping and covering.
Imagine how people saw the vast natural resources in the United States in the mid-1800s. Seemingly endless forests stretched forever. Trees grew everywhere, so a mill could be located just about anywhere as long as it was near a water source. Trees could be harvested any time of the year, so the mills didn't go through seasonal periods of surpluses and shortages as they did with other fiber sources. Trees could be cut as they were needed, unlike fibers like straw which had to be stored in large volumes and which could then spoil. With this new wood pulping technology, the United States must have appeared to be a papermaker's version of nirvana.
If there is no finish designation on a package of paper, you can assume it has a wove finish. This is a smooth paper with a small amount of richly colored fibers which give it a natural speckled effect, resembling granite. Southworth offers its Granite Specialty Paper in a wide variety of weights and colors, with 2. Post Consumer Recycled Fiber.
Particularly good results have been achieved with etching, lithographs and block prints. Our papers also work with inkjet and laserjet printers.
Once dry, peel the paper off the blanket. You will notice that the paper is wavy. To straighten it, put it in a thick book or in a phone book and press it down with more books. Leave it there for a few hours and you'll have some nicely home made paper to write on, print on, and make all sorts of crafts!
I use paper recycled this way with my photography to make nice greetings cards that I mail to friends etc. I also sell them through my website! :)
Be creative with your new hand crafted paper and tell me what you've done with it!
The texture is created by using a dandy roll to impress the pattern into the paper along with the watermark at the wet end of the manufacturing process. Laid papers project a very elegant and sophisticated image. Southworth offers two distinct groups of Laid papers: Antique Laid and Private Stock. The difference is in the width of the patterns. Linen is a textured finish applied to paper by an embossing process done after the paper has been manufactured that has the look and feel of linen fabric. Generally, a linen finish is a very subtle texture that performs well in most laser and inkjet printers and copiers. Southworth offers its textured linen papers in a wide variety of weights and colors.
Lay another blanket on top of the one you were just working on and press it down to squeeze as much water out of it as you can. I don't have a press, so I use a bunch of heavy books (that's where a lot of my university investments went to, to use books to press paper :( )
If you keep making paper, you will eventually need to add pulp to the tub. Add pulp as you need it, and pile the newly made sheets on top of each other. Once you are done, put the books on top of the whole pile and let them sit for a while.
After a couple of hours, remove the books and lay the blankets with the paper pulp one by one to dry. It takes a while to dry, so be patient (about 1 day).
The demand for paper also created the need for greater efficiency in production. In the late 18th century the labours of Nicholas Luis Robert resulted in the creation of a machine that could produce a seamless length of paper on a endless wire mesh with squeeze rollers at one end. Perfected and marketed by the Fourdrinier brothers, the new machine made papers soon replaced traditional single sheets made by hand.
The lower cost of printing books on paper, and their subsequent availability, stimulated the foundation of new schools and universities. Because books were now more numerous, educational opportunities that were once restricted to the nobility and upper classes became more available to other classes in society, with dramatic increases in levels of education and literacy.
Incidentally, the traditional Asian paper which is often referred to as "rice paper" is not made from rice fibres at all. More commonly it is made from the versatile mulberry tree - varieties of which are also used for feeding silkworms and in medicine. In contrast to the cold precision and standardisation which industrial production demands, the soft, subtle textures and natural feeling of handmade paper is said to echo the warm heart of the papermaker who makes each sheet with devotion.