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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 07-23-2008, 12:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: home made banana paper

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Cool, Gabe! And just so you know, that's Ms. Lorax! I made the same mistake a few weeks back and she kindly corrected me. I was a bit embarassed!
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:19 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: home made banana paper

What a great thread! Thanks so much for posting. I'd love to see pictures of the various steps, especially what the fibers look like after cutting, but before boiling.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:08 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What a great thread! Thanks so much for posting. I'd love to see pictures of the various steps, especially what the fibers look like after cutting, but before boiling.
just looks like pseudostem discs, but next time i do it i'll get lots of pics during the process.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: home made banana paper

Hey Gabe, Lorax - I have been wrestling with paper-making for 2 days now, and am finding it quite hard. I sliced up an orinoco pstem into thin discs and then boiled it for an hour or so. The liquid was quite a dark red - so I poured that off, cubed the slices as they were still quite whole, added clean water and boiled for another hour. When I came to use the blender, the fibres were resistant enough to keep jamming the blades. The first attempt is now drying, but I couldn't get a smooth pulp and the fibres were quite long. Has anyone tried with petioles or leaves? I had to come and post this out of frustration and impatience!! lol.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:11 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: home made banana paper

Just been for another look at it, and it is more like felt than paper! Perhaps it will be better when it dries(hopefully).
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:44 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: home made banana paper

Wow, this is really cool. If/when one of our bananas flowers I want to give this a try. I made paper back in the day in high school and it was a lot of fun. Nice looking banana paper!
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:29 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: home made banana paper

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Hey Gabe, Lorax - I have been wrestling with paper-making for 2 days now, and am finding it quite hard. I sliced up an orinoco pstem into thin discs and then boiled it for an hour or so. The liquid was quite a dark red - so I poured that off, cubed the slices as they were still quite whole, added clean water and boiled for another hour. When I came to use the blender, the fibres were resistant enough to keep jamming the blades. The first attempt is now drying, but I couldn't get a smooth pulp and the fibres were quite long. Has anyone tried with petioles or leaves? I had to come and post this out of frustration and impatience!! lol.
When using the blender, I only used a rather small amount of pulp per batch, and lots of water too keep it from jamming. Also, I don't know if it matters, but I always used the water I boiled it in as well. I would add new water, but still always used the boiled water too. I was talking with a professor and he thought that perhaps the water held some of the starches and other things which may help to hold the paper together better, I don't know how much truth is in this but its a possibility that it might be better to keep all of the boiled water in your pulp. There are some fiber processing methods which include fermenting the starches out, leaving pure fiber which does not stick together well and then can be used more efficiently in textile work. Its very likely that the combination of boiling and replacing the water removes much of the starch and may prevent the paper from holding together nicely, and you may get very different results. Again, none of this is tested, just the thoughts of a bunch of guys sitting around and talking about theoretical paper making.

Also, the more water you add, the easier it is to pour the pulp, and since almost all of the water immediately drains, its of no consequence to add more water to your pulp just before pouring to achieve a desired consistency. And as for flattening and pressing the pulp, I would spread it thin with the narrow end of a ruler (in long overlapping passes, much like if you were going to paint a canvas one color with a brush, if that makes sense), and then after that, when my board was in place, I would flip the whole unit over so that the board was on the ground and pressing against the screen. I would then use a dough roller to further flatten and even out the pulp which was at that point pressed in between the board and the screen. I wish I had more time on my hands, I could then experiment with it more and finish my paper-making manual I was working on, unfortunately I have been rather busy with school, work and prior commitments to get much done in regards to my (many and varied) side projects.
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