ALTERNATIVE FIBERS

ALTERNATIVE FIBERS


Everyday the market for alternative papers is getting cheaper and more efficient at production. Consumer demand for product that avoid using tress is also growing as well with good reason. Trees take an enormous amount of time, resources and energy to grow. A renewable source of paper needs to take market demand to relieve stress on forests and the people who work in the paper industry. The texture and feel of alternative fibers actually brings a unique feeling to packing and print work.

Cotton paper is stronger than wood fiber. It wont yellow over time and it has a very unique, expensive feels to it the moment you touch it. It is a highly renewable plant. The cotton is not the same as the cotton that goes into clothes. It is the lintes which is the byproduct of the textile industry. Usually these fibers would go into the landfill. Cotton from clothing scraps is also combined in the process as well.

Kanaf paper is made for a herbaceous plant that is closely related to cotton. Kanaf is much more efficient than wood at growing and producing fibers for paper pulp. It has a rapid growth period of 150 days. It has a high yield; 3 to 5 times per acre more than pine. During the papermaking process, it takes less chemicals to whiten, less heat and time to breakdown into a pulp. Currently, hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine is used in the bleaching process, which turns into water at the end.

Hemp paper is actually better suited and stronger than wood to make paper. It started off being developed as paper in China around 200 BC. In the 1930’s the plant unfortunately was prohibited by lobbyists in the synthetic textile industry. It is also used to make biodegradable plastics, paint, clothing, textiles, biofuel, food and animal feed. It is a different strain of The benefits of hemp include a growth cycle of 4 months and a stronger chemical composition. Hemp paper, like Kanaf paper, also will not yellow, crack or break down like tree paper. Hemp pulp has less lignin composite that has to be removed. 

Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash

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