Category Archives: Papermaking

How-to information about making your own paper.

Paper Yarn Placemats

This pattern is woven in tabby but use different types of yarns giving an interesting effect. The placemats and table runner are woven using 22/2 cottolin for warp. This is woven in a thick/thin rep weave, using paper yarn and hemp single ply tow yarn as the weft. You can substitute the hemp with a single ply linen yarn, a cotton yarn or the same type of cottolin that you used in the warp.

This pattern will make 4 placemats and 1 table runner.

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Warp: 22/2 cottolin, 3160 ypp
>Warp Length: 6 yards
Black – 40 ends
Navy – 180 ends
Black – 40 ends
Sett: 20 epi
Width in Reed: 13 inches
placemat weaving draft


For the edges of each placemat, weave 2 inches of tabby using the 22/2 cottolin yarn.
The placemat is woven in tabby using 2 shuttles alternating shots of:
Paper yarn – 430 ypp (White)
6/1 Hemp – 1800 ypp (various colours)
Weft: 16 ppi
To weave with paper yarn, the yarn must be damp. Wind the yarn onto a bobbin. Fill a bowl of water and soak the bobbin for a few minutes to wet the yarn. Wipe the bobbin with a dry wash cloth to remove the excess water.

Placemat Pattern length: 16 inches
For these placemats, I used a different colour of hemp weft for each placemat, so that each one is slightly different, but complementary.

Table Runner Pattern length:

30 inches
The table runner was woven with varied stripes of colour: red, green, blue, yellow.


Cut the hem between each placemat, and sew.

Care and Washing

It is best not to wash paper placemats in the washing machine. Rather, they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, or can be gently handwashed.

Yarn Sources

Borgs VavgarnerA great source for linen and paper yarns from Sweden.

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Papermaking with Polypores: aa072104f

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Dyers Week in Finland. One of the courses that was going on was how to make paper with Polypores or Fungi.

Here’s how:
The polypores are collected and then left to soak in water for several hours to soften them.

After soaking the polypores, chop them into small pieces and put into a blender to create a pulp.

Pour the pulp into a shallow tray.

Lay a piece of cotton fabric onto a wire mesh paper form.

Place the form into the pulp mixture and lift it up, letting the excess water run off.

Lay the top part of the paper form onto the pulp mixture and press it down.

Use a sponge to squeeze out any remaining water.

Remove the top part of the form, invert the form carefully and place it onto a cloth.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the paper and remove extra moisture.

Remove the piece of fabric from the handmade paper carefully.

If there are any holes or breaks in the paper, you can put the paper back into the pulp mixture and try again.

Once you are happy with the results of your handmade paper, lay it between several layers of newspaper and let it dry.

polypore paper
Polypore paper

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  • Fungal Jungal – Making Paper
  • Mycology – Uses of Fungi – Papermaking
  • What is Kraft Paper

    Mushroom Dye Workshop

    Mushroom Dye Recipes

    Natural Dye Workshop

    Print Making

    Peat Textiles

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    Papermaking Books

    Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds

    The Art And Craft of Papermaking: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating Distinctive Handmade Paper

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    Paper Yarn Weaving: aa111502

    I had the opportunity to take a seminar with Pirkko Karvonen, on weaving with paper

    I wove the paper vases pictured above, using the technique described by Pirkko.  The warp
    was a 3 ply hemp, and the coloured weft was paper yarn, alternating with a weft of 6 ply

    Paper yarns have been used in Finland, Sweden and Japan to make textiles, clothing
    fabrics, placemats, rugs and other decorative items. Once paper yarn has been woven, it
    retains its strength and can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth.  Paper yarn is low in
    dust and is a good alternative for those with allergies and environmental health
    problems. Paper yarn is best used as weft.  When you weave with it, dampen the paper yarn before
    you weave with it.  Try to weave all the paper yarn that you have dampened that day.  If
    you are interrupted, you can put the damp paper yarn into a plastic bag to keep it moist
    and use it the following day.  If you leave it damp for too long, it may mildew or start to
    fall apart.  When I wove with the paper yarn, I wound it onto a bobbin and then dipped the
    bobbin in a small dish of water, before I wove with it.

    Pirkko Karvonen
    Holding a flower made with paper yarn.

    A Japanese vest handwoven with silk and paper yarn.

    The Japanese vest was woven with a silk warp. The special paper used as warp in the
    vest was folded and cut into narrow strips(about 2 cm wide), almost to the edge of the
    paper. This cutting technique is similar to that used for cutting rag rugs.
    (Sakiori) The paper is dampened and wrapped in a towel. Let the
    damp paper rest overnight. The next day,when the paper is opened up, it produces a long
    narrow strip. The narrow strip of paper is then rolled on cement or a smooth surface to
    produce a spun yarn. The edges of the paper are rolled between the fingers to smooth them.
    The selvage edges will show up as slubs in the weft of the fabric.

    Searching for Myself
    Pirkko Karvonen has made significant contributions to the textile community in Canada.
    Her work exhibits the ethnic traditions of Finland.

    Star and the Birch Tree
    A fibre tapestry depicting a snowy winter in Finland under Russian rule.

    Karvonen Films
    Pirkko and her husband Albert also produce wildlife and nature documentaries.

    Where to Find Paper Yarn

    Borgs Vavgarner
    Paper yarns from Sweden, in a nice selection of colours.

    Textura Trading
    Manila linen and Shifu paper yarns.

    Habu Textiles
    A very unique assortment for the yarn connoisseur: raw silks, bamboo, hand-tied ramies,
    cashmere, paper, naturally gold silks, handspun silks/cottons, silk stainless steel and
    much more.

    An Italian producer of paper yarns.

    Paper Yarn Flowers
    A how-to project for making paper yarn flowers.

    DIY – Paper Yarn Lampshades
    A project for making lampshades with paper yarn.

    Ritva Puotila weaves rugs, carpets, table runners and accessories with paper yarns.

    Hemp Rep Placemats

    Japanese Paper Weaving

    Paper Yarn

    What is Kraft Paper

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    Papermaking: paper

    Paper from Polypores
    How to make handmade paper using polypores or fungi.

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    Paper Yarn Weaving
    Paper Yarn weaving with Pirkko Karvonen at Convergence 2002.

    Japanese Paper Weaving
    The art of weaving with paper yarns in Japan.

    Paper Wall Hanging
    A woven wall hanging project using Christmas wrapping paper.

    Paper Yarn Placemat
    A weaving project for making placemats with paper yarn and hemp.

    You Tube – Japanese Paper making

    Papermaking Books

    Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds
    Illustrated step-by-step instructions, make it easy to blend and shape a variety of organic papers from such common plants as hosta, milkweed, and thistledown, as well as the more unusual pineapple, yucca, and seaweed
    UK: Papermaking with Garden Plants

    The Complete Book of Papermaking
    How to fashion a sheet of paper, step by step.
    UK: Complete Book of Papermaking

    Japanese Papermaking: Traditions, Tools, Techniques
    Every aspect of papermaking is explained in depth, including cultivation of paper mulberry in the West, weaving the flexible mold surface (su), and evaluation of the finished paper.
    UK: Japanese Papermaking

    The Papermaker’s Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper
    Instructions for both Western-style (European) and Eastern-style (Japanese) papers are covered. Some projects are included, but the emphasis is on processes and techniques.
    UK: Papermakers Companion

    Kindle Version
    UK: Hand Papermaking Manual

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    Weaving Project – Handwoven Paper Wallhanging: aa123000

    These paper wall hangings were woven using left over Christmas wrapping paper. This is a great way to recycle used paper.

    paper wall hanging


    8/2 cotton

    Length: 3 yards

    # ends: 252

    Width in reed: 14 inches

    Sett: 18 epi

    This project makes 2 wall hangings, approximately 30″ in length.

    Weaving Draft:


    Each pattern block is approximately 2 inches in width. (9 repeats)


    Pattern Shots – Christmas wrapping paper

    Using a rotary cutter, I cut the paper into narrow strips approximately 3/8 inch wide x 24″ long.

    8/2 Cotton

    Use for the Tabby shots.



    Weave 2 inches of tabby with the 8/2 cotton to start.

    Using the summer/winter drawdown, weave the tabby picks with the 8/2 cotton.

    For the pattern picks, lay a strip of the cut paper in the open shed. Close the shed and beat gently.

    Weave the next tabby shot with the 8/2 cotton, and beat firmly.

    Continue weaving, alternating with the 8/2 cotton and the paper. The Summer/Winter draft is very versatile and you can make the coloured blocks any size you wish. Use the coloured paper as a design element and experiment with the placement of the design for different colour and weave effects. Continue weaving for 30″. Weave 2 inches of tabby with the 8/2 cotton to complete the other edge of the wall hanging.


    Cut the project off the loom and zig zag stitch the edges before cutting the 2 wall hangings apart. Fold over the edges and sew a straight seam to hem finish the edges.

    Weaving Projects

    Hemp Rep Placemats
    Paper Yarn Weaving
    Japanese Paper Yarn Weaving

    Christmas Craft Projects

    Christmas Stocking Motifs
    ABC Knitting Motif
    Needle Felted Christmas Ornaments
    Christmas Felt making
    Christmas Crochet
    Christmas Beading
    Christmas Knitting

    Weaving Books: Projects

    Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
    The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
    UK: Weaving Made Easy

    The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
    Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
    UK: Weavers Idea Book

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    Japanese Paper Weaving: aa122000

    Washi, Japanese paper is traditionally made of the inner bark of 3 plants, Kozo (paper mulberry) Mitsumata and Gampi. The bark is cleaned, pounded and added to a liquid solution with tororo-aoi (fermented hibiscus root) to produce paste-like mix. The paste is spread onto a bamboo mesh screen to form a paper sheet.

    You Tube – Japanese Papermaking, Tosa Washi

    Shifu Cloth

    In Japan, Washi paper is cut into thin strips, twisted and woven to make a cloth called Shifu. The Washi paper is treated with a starch of Konnyaku (devil’s tongue root), crumpled and cut into thin strips and twisted into yarn. The paper thread is used as weft, and the warp is usually of silk, cotton, or hemp. The resulting paper fabric becomes more pliable with use and is also strong enough to withstand washing.


    Saganishiki (Saga brocade) is another type of Japanese paper cloth. The Washi paper is the warp. It is cut into thin strips and the weft yarn (silk, cotton or hemp) is woven in a twill pattern. Often the paper is decorated with gold dust or gold leaf designs.

    Saga Nishiki History

    Tradition says that at the end of the Edo Era, Princess Kashioka thought of the idea of Saga Nishiki as she was ill and admiring the design of the ceiling patterns. She ordered her attendant to create some other uses for this type of weaving. The weaving was done by the ladies of the castle. The art was later revived by a politician, Shigenobu Okuma and exhibited at an Exposition in London in 1910.

    Saga Nishiki Process

    The making Saga Nishiki is explained, with pictures of the weaving process.

    Saganishi Workshop

    Paper Wall Hanging

    Paper Yarn Weaving at Convergence 2002

    Making Paper with Polypores

    Papermaking Books

    Japanese Papermaking: Traditions, Tools, Techniques
    Every aspect of papermaking is explained in depth, including cultivation of paper mulberry in the West, weaving the flexible mold surface (su), and evaluation of the finished paper.

    Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds
    Basic papermaking techniques, laid out in illustrated step-by-step instructions, make it easy to blend and shape a variety of organic papers from such common plants as hosta, milkweed, and thistledown, as well as the more unusual pineapple, yucca, and seaweed.

    The Papermaker’s Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper
    Included are extensive step-by-step instructions on processing pulp, building papermaking equipment, and making paper-based projects like cards, lamp shades, and sculpture.

    The Complete Book of Papermaking

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