Handmade Paper Production

Michaelle Marschall making black abaca paper

Handmade paper production is a time-consuming and delicate process. It requires patience, practice, understanding of chemistry, proficient color mixing, development of well-tried recipes, great intuition, and a bit of good luck in order to acheive consistent thickness and color of paper. The Morgan is the only non-profit organization in the US producing a large volume of handmade paper for sale all over the world. Whether it is drawing, photography, printmaking, bookbinding, or any other medium, we are sure you can find something to spark your next project idea.

The Morgan’s Sam Caraboolad Garden is the largest kozo (paper mulberry tree) grove in the United States. Every year, the fiber is harvested, beaten by hand with mallets or sticks, and formed into extremely thin and strong sheets. Cold weather and cold water are ideal for making this paper, so our papermakers endure extreme conditions for the sake of making a perfect sheet of kozo. This strong yet flexible paper is firmly rooted in the Japanese culture and admired for its versatility and expressiveness. Our kozo papers are perfect for monotype, chine collé, relief, natural dyeing, lining spines of books, and as a backing to make bookcloth.

Our most popular and versatile papers are made from abaca, a large herbaceous Philippine plant of the banana family notable for its long fiber. This fiber results in translucent sheets of incredible strength, even when the paper is wet. Our Translucent Abaca is a constantly changing line of bright and fun colors to inspire your next project. These papers are perfect for drawing, relief, letterpress printing, paper folding, and much more.

In the past year, the Morgan has added two new and instantly successful lines of black abaca papers to our production. Both papers are processed in a Hollander beater for about five hours and pigmented with aqueous disperse pigments. Long processing time creates more surface area for the pigment to bind to. Combined with the high shrinkage and restraint drying, this yields a black, shiny sheet of paper. Our Rockstar Black Abaca is a sleek paper with a soft sheen to its surface. The Biker Black Abaca is a slightly thicker, matte black paper. Both papers are very thin and flexible, but hold a crease well.

Visit morganconservatory.com to browse our handmade papers.