To create a thin sheet of paper the papermaker goes through hundreds of meticulous steps.
Raw material extraction
To get the handmade paper you hold in your hand, the first difficult step is to exploit the raw materials.
Currently, they have to go to get bark about 20km away from home because it is a rocky hill and there are no residents, so there are no buffaloes and cows to destroy, so the trees grow naturally. All 6 people took nearly 1 day (8am to 3pm) to get about 3 burdens (12 bunches of 4-5kg).
First, cut the tree down, then use your hand to hit the rock to peel it off and then peel the bark off the trunk. The trunk is left in the forest.
Peeling off the shell
After harvesting in the forest, the bark is soaked in clean water to remove the plastic. Then the peeling process begins. This stage requires dexterity and good knife technique. Use a small knife and the tip of your finger to hold the bark firmly to remove the blackest outer bark. Take only the whitest part of the bark. The shell is also used by us to make paper later.
This stage requires the most labor. Therefore, paper making is very suitable for a community of about 5-6 households.
Soak and boil ingredients
Raw materials after being peeled will be washed to remove the plastic, then soaked with lime water for a day and a night. The rate is about 10%.
After soaking, the bark is boiled in a pot for about one day and one night. To check if the shell has been boiled nicely, try to pull it with your hand if the thread breaks.
Wash and scrub the bark
After boiling, the bark must be washed thoroughly to remove the lime juice completely. After washing, the doctors will use their feet to rub the bark to soften it before pounding it. After boiling, Duong bark will be cleaned again to remove all lime solution. After cleaning, our artisan use their leg to crush the bark for softening before beating process.