Dying Handmade Paper

Following on from making handmade paper the next step was to experiment with dying the sheets of paper in various colours. This article looks at two methods including inks and colour pigments.

Dying with Inks

This process involved making up 50/50 solutions of ink with water and storing in small jars for use when required. This allowed me to mix some variations of colours e.g. different tones of greens, blues, red etc. The ink was then poured into a metal round baking tray larger than the sizes of paper and dipping the sheets, leaving them to soak for a few minutes and turning over to ensure even absorbtion of the ink solution.

Ink solutions stored in small jars ready for use

The outcome of this method resulted in good colorisation, however in some instances the colour differed on each side of the sheet i.e. one side was darker or more concentrated with colour and the other was slightly lighter. The sheets were left to dry overnight on a flat surface, Some buckled slightly but were soon flattened out with a press with an iron.

Dipped dyed sheets in ink solution

On some areas of the sheets there were some of areas of resistance to the ink, possibly due to starch or binder residues on the surface or some colours dried slightly lighter than the initally intended colour which may have been due to the amount of water in the solution or due to variations of ink pigment intensity.

Ink dyed wet sheets

Overall the outcome was quite satiffying and provided a rich vibrant colour to the sheets of paper that was permanent for further use.

Dying with Pigments


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