Papermaking Instructional Videos

Papermaking Instructional Videos

Papermaking Series

VHS or DVD series (five videos) $250; individual VHS or DVD $60.

Written by Timothy Barrett, Director of the University of Iowa Center for the Book Paper Facilities, Papermaking is designed for teachers, students, artists, craftspeople, conservators, book specialists, and anyone else with an interest in the history and technique of Western and Japanese papermaking.

Unlike most audio-visual materials available on the subject, Papermaking emphasizes the mechanics of the process and details each step in producing finished paper. Slow and stop motion effects are used to highlight crucial actions. Whether your goal is the production of paper, or education, Papermaking is a valuable and unique resource.

There are five tapes in Papermaking, each with a common format proceeding from fiber to finished paper. Each tape is a stand-alone program and can be viewed independently of the other tapes in the series. However, the tapes portray increasingly difficult approaches to both crafts, and eventually are best used as a full series. All videotapes are color VHS format.

Japanese style papermaking permits formation of thin, long-fibered, translucent sheets. Western papermaking is used mostly in the production of bookweight and heavier papers. The following descriptions detail the content of each tape.


Simple Equipment and Techniques. Student and teacher work together using small-scale homemade tools and the least expensive equipment available to demonstrate the entire process of making Japanese style sheets. With minimal financial outlay, quality sheets are possible, in your own backyard, in less than a day. Eighty minutes.


Traditional Equipment and Techniques. The quality of any paper is related to the quality of the tools used to make it. In this tape a professionally made Japanese mould is used in sheet-forming, permitting thinner and more delicate sheets. Fiber preparation and advanced actions at the vat are also emphasized. Teacher coaches the student during sheetforming and couching. Thirty-seven minutes.


Professional Equipment and Techniques. Large sixty by ninety centimeter sheets of conservation quality mending tissue are produced from high quality kozo (paper mulberry fiber). Highlights include: cultivation and harvesting of key plants; rendering formation aid from tororo-aoi roots; cooking in lye made from vegetable ashes; and the use of a naginata beater for even fiber separation. This tape includes detailed attention to sheetforming and couching action. Thirty-nine minutes.


Classroom Equipment and Techniques. Key features include: discussion of fiber selection; making beater test sheets; formation of fifty by sixty centimeter paper; drying methods; and gelatin sizing. Student/teacher interaction is shown, with special attention given to the proper 'shake' during sheet-forming and problems during couching. Thirty minutes.


Professional Equipment and Techniques. This tape covers the production of bookpaper from fermented flax fiber, and the making of heavyweight sheets for papercased bindings from lime-cooked flax fiber. Additional sequences show the use of an automatic pulp delivery system for the production of bookpaper from cotton fiber. Unusual techniques described include fermentation of flax fiber, washing during beating, loft drying, gelatin sizing and hand burnishing. Twenty-five minutes.

The Ergonomics of Hand Papermaking

$20 for VHS/$30 for DVD, plus shipping.

This twenty-five minute video or DVD presents four years of extensive research by Lynn Amlie, while directing the UICB Paper Facility. It presents a variety of ways to avoid repetitive and stress related injuries by analyzing historic vs. contemporary hand papermaking footage and implementing recommendations provided by a team of ergonomic engineers, physical therapists and occupational specialists. This video is an essential follow-up for the Papermaking Series.