Cotton On

Today 14 April is my cotton paper day. My decision to find out more about this fabulously textured paper morphed into a history and environmental lesson. Cotton Papers use refined cotton from rags, clothing and textiles as the primary material source instead of pulp from wood or even the cotton seed as other papers do. The paper is sometimes referred to as rag paper.

Cotton contains more than 90 % alpha cellulose which is why, say the experts, 100% cotton rag paper has such exceptional strength and durability.

India is the home of cotton or rag paper and my guess is that was where this wonderful watermelon, mint, gold and white striped paper made from recycled cotton, which I picked up in Card and Caboodle, originated from.

I must table that there are strengths and weaknesses to working with cotton wrapping paper. The strengths – well it doesn’t rip easily, takes beautiful dyes, has a wonderful feel and gives you the warm inner glow that comes from using a recycled product. It can also cope with one heck of an emboss – because there is so much depth with which to work. On the flip side, it is quite thick, making precision folding that little bit more difficult, corners are bulky and not all tapes seem to like it. Some adhere, while others do not. But that little bit of thickness can be your friend if you are using the paper for say a gift bag that needs to hold something with a bit of weight. I am thinking a bottle of wine but then I am always thinking about wine.

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