Re: Paper durability

From: Karin Goihl & Daniel Fahey <>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 18:06:14 +0200

Peter Larsen:
>Historically, linen (and cotton, after 1700 or so) for paper was produced
from >rags. Nasty rags=nasty paper.

't know why rag paper would be nasty, except for the smell during production. It is much tougher than most paper used today. I have some in my wallet which is 500 years old and as good as the day it was made. Nothing nasty about it.

> The eastern papermaking traditions, especially Japan, produce fairly low
acid >paper as well, because they use bark, not tree pulp.

I think the traditional rice paper is made completely without acid, and is of mulberry tree bark. It's called rice paper because rice starch is used to make it better. I don't see it as better than rag paper tho, unless you want really thin paper. Actually, there is stuff called abaca made from banana plants which I much prefer to anything else, altho I've never made rice paper. It comes out about the same as rice, and is a dream to work with.

>Parchment, if well made and kept dry, is at least as
>durable as paper.

If you say so. I've never seen a parchment-paged book which looked like it'd last thru one more reading. They keep those in special conditions in museums, and even then they are fragile, even tho they are rarely even a Thousand years old. Rag paper doesn't need any special treatment. You can leave it around anywhere, wet or dry. It retains its strength over time.

> Sadly, each new information storage medium has been worse
>than the one before it. Baked clay, if undisturbed will last pretty much
>forever. CD-ROMs may last 100 years if they are stored in the best possible
>conditions. If they are used, 10-20 years is optomistic.

Yes, very sad. The first CDs only lasted five years. My old LPs are still as good as ever. I hope my CDs last awhile.


End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #81

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