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The Paper Project Revisited

Whilst looking for fabric samples online the other day, I came across a ‘Washable Paper’ and now my textiley brain can’t seem to stop thinking about it. I had a lot of fun with the Paper Project last week, and apparently, I haven’t quite squeezed everything out of it just yet. Now this fabric (?) has arrived, let’s get cracking!

The instructions suggested to wash this before use (which you should do with all your fabrics people! If you’ve ever wondered why your lovely handmade dress doesn’t fit after the first wash it’s because you haven’t pre-washed all the shrink out of it!) so off I went to the machine a little skeptical. I cut two sizeable chunks off the roll and stuck them in on a 40 degree quick wash as per the leaflet. It was so strange to watch, it goes in really thick and stiff like a heavy cartridge paper, but as it gets wet it goes super flexible like a fabric. It also said the paper can be tumble dried so once the pieces had finished washing, I hung one test piece up to air dry and stuck the other in the tumble for an hour. To be totally honest, I don’t think they felt much different. Maaaaybe the tumble-dried one felt a little more soft and textured than the other but I’m not sure if I was just looking for that to happen.

The next step was to see what I could do with it! I decided to sew one up to see what would happen. Incidentally, I had picked up on Maryam Brown’s journey to creating bins and her fixation on recycling. I figured this may interest her too so I made her a little washable paper bag and photocopied the instructions for her to have a play within her practice. This was a great way to do my tests whilst potentially benefitting someone else’s project.

This was a heavy fabric that felt like a PVC/faux leather when working with it

As for the other pieces… was off for the steam test!

Matthew Shilan’s paper sculpture’s sparked an interest

I experimented with machine washing and drying techniques, I think I accidentally made this a scientific experiment somehow? On reflection, these are a great source to have note of, but I am not entirely sure if I can use them just yet. My plan is to park this for now and it may crop up again in future concepts.

They all had a similar quality, however, tumble drying definitely added more texture and steaming added a slightly more pliable feel.

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