is the VOA Special English Development Report.
earliest process of making paper was done almost five thousand years ago in Egypt and the Nile Valley.
In those days, paper was made from strips of the papyrus plant.
paper-making began in China
about two thousand years ago. This process produced paper from cloth, straw,
wood or the bark of trees. The raw materials are struck over and over until
they become loose. Then they are mixed with water.
the water has been removed, the flat, thin form remaining is permitted to dry.
This becomes a sheet of paper.
machines started to be used for making paper near the end of the sixteenth
century. Today, paper-making is a big business. But it is still possible to
make paper by hand, since the steps are the same as using big machines.
You should choose paper
with small amounts of printing. Old envelopes are good for this reason. Colored
paper also can be used, as well as small amounts of newspaper. Small pieces of
rags or cloth can be added. These should be cut into pieces about five centimeters
by five centimeters.
is placed in a container, covered with water and brought to a boil. It is mixed
for about two hours with some common chemicals and then allowed to cool. Then
it is left until most of the water dries up. The substance left, called pulp,
can be stored until you are ready to make paper.
you are ready, the pulp is mixed with water again. Then the pulp is poured into
a mold. The mold is made of small squares of wire that hold the shape and
thickness of the paper. To help dry the paper, the mold lets the water flow
through the small wire squares.
several more drying steps, the paper is carefully lifted back from the mold. It
is now strong enough to be touched.
paper is smoothed and pressed to remove trapped air. You can use a common
electric iron used for pressing clothes.
are many other technologies for people making paper using small machines.
Internet users can do a search and find
directions for making homemade paper. You
can also order information about making paper from the group EnterpriseWorks/VITA.
Its Web site is enterpriseworks.org.
that's the VOA Special English Development Report. Transcripts, MP3s and
podcasts of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also follow us at
twitter.com/voalearnenglish. I'm Steve Ember.