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Obtain a papyrus plant. Papyrus paper is created from the Cyperus papyrus plant, which is a light but strong reed. You can obtain one by contacting a papyrus plant nursery. There are other options if you can’t find the plant. You can also make the paper out of wide grasses, like river reeds. Papyrus plants can be purchased online. You can also ask your local nursery if they carry the plant.
Peel away the outer layer of the papyrus plant. Only the inner part of the plant is used for the paper. You will need to remove the outer green part of the plant. Use a sharp knife and slice down the length of the plant until the entire outer layer is removed. The inside of the plant should be a white or slightly greenish color.
Cut up the inner portion into strips. Use the knife you used to cut off the outer portion to cut the inner layers of the papyrus plant (pith) into thin strips. Hold the plant in your hand and cut towards you vertically.
Make sure that all of the strips have the same size and thickness. The best strips typically come from the center of the plant. The lowest quality comes from the outermost layers.
Place the papyrus plant strips in water. There are some natural glue-like chemicals within the plant that need to be released before you can turn it into papyrus. Let them soak in the water for at least 72 hours. Three days, however, is ideal for soaking. Try to lay them out flat in a tray of water to soak. Set the tray in a place where the water won’t evaporate quickly.
Lay the papyrus plant strips on a hard, flat surface. The pattern doesn’t matter at this point. Just lay them out flat and make sure they don’t overlap. Your countertop or a sturdy table will work.
Roll the excess water and sugar out of the plant. Grab a rolling pin and use it to roll the strips flat. The rolling pin should be squeezing the water out of them and flattening the strips into sheets. In the past, papyrus strips were pounded with a hard object to remove the excess water.
Weave the strips together. Lay the strips on the cloth. Get a dry sheet of linen cloth or felt. Then, begin to weave them together. You want to create two layers of strips, with the top layer strips being perpendicular to the bottom layer strips. It should resemble a placemat. The strips should slightly overlap one another to prevent the papyrus from falling apart later.Cover the papyrus strips with a second sheet of linen cloth once you have weaved them together.
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