My paper is eco- sustainable. The paper and paper products of our range are crafted from 100% recycled office paper mixed with the bark of alien invasive trees like the Black Wattle found in the Eastern Cape.
It is often the case that South Africa’s water supplies are consumed by plants that do not belong here. These plants are called invading alien plants because they spread and displace our natural trees and plants. Large areas of good agricultural land and some of the most scenic areas have been invaded. Many invading plants were brought into South Africa for purposes such as forestry plantations.
They grow so well because they do not have natural enemies such as insects, animals and diseases that would have controlled them in their own countries. By clearing alien-invading vegetation Isandla Paper helps to improve water supplies.
A DIFFERENCE THROUGH ECO DESIGN
The production line starts with the boiling and mashing of wattle bark or the bark of other invasive trees in a three-legged iron pot. The wood of the trees that have been harvested serves to fuel the fires of the iron pots. The bark mash is mixed with a pulp made from waste office paper and water. It is then dyed with organic dyes. The pulp is diluted with water and put into a vat. A mould is then dipped into the vat, shaken evenly and then lifted out with the pulp on it. Each sheet is tipped out onto a layer of cloth and the layers are build up until they are ready to going to the press. A hydraulic press is used to squeeze as much water out of the sheets as possible.
Our production range includes also flower paper. For this flowers are plucked and collected and added to the pulp. After the pressing process the sheets are separated again and peeled of the cloth. 50 to 60% of the moisture remains in the sheets that are dried out by hanging them up in open sunny areas. Each paper sheet is ironed because this gives the paper a more smooth and glossy surface.
AN ALL SOUTH AFRICAN PRODUCT
Once the paper is dry and ready it is converted into a range of exclusive products from writing paper to hand bound diaries and notebooks to greeting cards. The materials used for the finishing touch of the products consists of up to 80% discarded items and waste products (like potato or onion plastic nets) or materials that can be transformed into exciting new products. I incorporate cheap materials and imperfection into our design and mix them with exquisite handmade paper. All products are completely handcrafted from the first to the last step. I use basic manufacturing processes such as hand- cutting, hand-gluing, hand-sewing, weaving and working with wire and elastic.
Hand made paper is a today’s luxury and a handwritten thank you note written on beautiful personalised stationery will show off innate elegance and a new appreciation of old ways of communication in our fast pace throw-away society.
Hand Made Paper being manufactured is a time consuming and labour intensive process. In the case of Chocolat Negro the addition of sound ecological principles means extra effort for an outstanding result..I have a deep-seated fascination with reworking waste materials.
After the pressing process the sheets are separated again and peeled of the cloth. 50 to 60% of the moisture remains in the sheets that are dried out by hanging them up in open sunny areas. Each paper sheet is ironed because this gives the paper a more smooth and glossy surface.