The Handmade Paper that lasts 800 Years

6 September 2016

On the veranda of a home in Suoi Co, a rural Vietnamese village about 45km southwest of Hanoi, two women were squatting around a plastic bucket, dipping their fingers in murky water to select strings of fibrous white pulp. Behind them, tree bark was soaking in three metal water tanks – the first step in this long process – to separate out the fibre. They expertly assessed the mushy pulp’s consistency, making sure it was ready to be pressed into giấy Dó (Dó paper), a handmade, chemical-free paper that can last up to a staggering 800 years.

One woman stood up, grabbed a ball of fresh pulp out of the bucket, and started beating it with a wooden pestle. As soon as she was happy with the consistency, her partner started layering it on a framed screen, flattening the first coating of a soon-to-be page with a bamboo mat. In this ancient papermaking process, patience is key.

Read the full story here.

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