The papyrus plant, Cyperus Papyrus, grows mainly in the swamps of the Nile. You will find here ‘woods of Papyrus’ with lengths of more than 5meters height. Papermaking from papyrus is a skill that has been given from generation to generation. The production is very time consuming, therefore papyrus is used limited. If papyrus is found in a tomb, it means that the deceased was a member of a wealthy family.
After harvesting the plants, the outer green bark of the papyrus plant is removed and is the inner pith being sliced into thin strips, which are subsequently hammered to break down the fibres. They are then immersed into ordinary water for three days until the fibres become flexible and transparent. The papyrus is now removed from the water and is very soft and quite spongy. It is rolled flat and left to dry a little before the strips are cut to the desired length. Now they are being placed on a piece of cotton, each at a slight overlap making two layers, one horizontal and the other vertical. Each papyrus sheet is then put between two pieces of cardboard and being put under a hand press where they will remain until dry. The cardboard draws the moisture out of the damp papyrus paper so it is changed every eight hours over the three days it takes to dry out.
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