[Alt-photo] McClains papers

Christina Z. Anderson christinazanderson at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 17:59:16 UTC 2018

Dear All,

First, thank you all for your answers on sulphite and wood pulp. MOST helpful and I learned more than I was asking (e.g. photo paper, bast and seed, etc.).

So I did a cut and paste and edit of McClain’s website and compiled a list of the papers and thought it could be of use to the list.

Keith, I have found Hosho, Kitakata, and Okawara a bit fragile for my tastes in comparison to other delicate papers I have preferred (Masa, Thai Kozo, Awagami Gampi), but they were all from Legion, not McClain’s. Have you tried any of the papers below and nixed them because they disintegrated in water or something? Abraded easily?

When I was in Japan a number of years ago I bought a bunch of paper (one sheet as high as $60). Unfortunately I didn’t keep the names of the papers so they don’t do me much good in my paper testing bout now, but some of those papers printed poorly in cyanotype and some also disintegrated like a paper napkin in water. Of course I know we subject paper to a more rigorous process than a wood block or other printmaking process, but it would be helpful to eliminate any of the below that don’t work so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Wow, though, I think I will avoid the $43 per sheet papers :)

BTW I can do all this testing with abandon because cyanotype is so cheap but I feel for you, doing it all with pt/pd chemistry :)


Group A Washi Paper
This group of Washi includes our finest printmaking papers. They are all entirely handmade, with deckle edges on all four sides. The papers are medium to heavy weight, of high fiber content, tear beautifully, and all are acid free.

Nishinouchi Natural

A great paper with a subtly brushed texture and the translucency of more fragile papers, Nishinouchi is surprisingly strong. Tears exceptionally well. Sized, handmade (four deckle edges) 60 gsm, 90% kozo 10% acid free pulp, 15.60 29.25 $41.75

Kizuki Hanga off white 27x40.5

An exceptionally low price for a 100% Kozo paper of this weight. The slightly off-white shade creates an excellent background for sharp, luminous, clear colors. Sized, handmade (four deckle edges), 135 gsm 100% kozo $43.85

Kizuki Hosho Natural 18x21.5

The Echizen districts's famous printmaking Washi, created by Living National Treasure Ichibei Iwano. 100% Kozo of the highest grade. Smooth surface; unsized, handmade (four deckle edges) 75 gsm 100% kozo 27.30

Echizen Kozo Natural and White 26x38 29.85

It is a fairly soft, dense, medium-weight paper, smooth on one side. The Natural color adds a lovely warm feeling to the finished print. Tears very easily. Sized, handmade (four deckle edges) 55 gsm kozo with a small percent of acid free pulp

Gampi Torinoko white and natural 21.5x30, 75 gsm, 100% gampi, $22 is out of stock

A recreation of our original Gampi by Mr. Ishimoto, with a luminescent surface of swirling fibers. The color is a warm, eggshell white. Unsized, handmade (four deckle edges).

Group B Washi Papers

These versatile papers are of very good quality. They are either handmade, or partially so, from a mixture of fiber and buffered, acid free wood pulp. Of medium-light to heavyweight, recommended for serious students and professional printmakers on a budget.

Torinoko Light Weight-Cream 24x35.75 $10.75 50 gsm 70% gampi 30% mitsumata

This very uniform, fine fibered handmade paper is translucent and soft to the touch. An exceptional bargain for paper this well made and containing such a high percentage of Gampi, a fiber that is becoming increasingly rare in Japan. Tears exceptionally well. Sized, handmade (four deckle edges).

Torinoko White, Cream 25x37 145 gsm 70% Mitsumata, 30% pulp $17.60

Very smooth on one side and fairly rough on the other. Traditionally you print on the smooth side, but either side can be used. Sized, machine made (no deckles)

Group C Washi Paper

This is a group of good quality printmaking paper for bargain prices. These all have been sized. Group C papers have a higher wood pulp content and range from ph 6.5 to ph 7.5 (ph 7 is acid free). The papers in this group run from light to medium weight, with a good strength to weight ratio. They are perfect for practice and proofing. Ideal for student use.

Kozo-shi off white 25x38 36.5 gsm kozo and acid free sulphite pulp $5.27

The surface of this paper is very smooth. The paper fibers create a subtle swirling pattern. No laid lines. Inner sizing (added to vat when paper is formed), Machine made (no deckle).

Masa white 23x32 90 gsm kozo acid fee pine pulp $8.95

Crisp, bright white paper at a very reasonable price! Do not confuse this paper with the light weight or waxed Masa commonly sold in the U.S. This paper is more like a heavy Hosho that has been sized. Sized, handmade (four deckle edges).

Shin Torinoko white, cream 24.75x37.5 125 gsm (white) and 120 gsm (cream) 50% Manila linen 50% acid free pine pulp $4.95

This machine made paper is the most economical sized printmaking paper that we carry. Very smooth on one side, with a felt-like quality. Sized, machine made (no deckle).

Group D papers

These papers are mostly unsized, and have diverse fiber content. They range from pH 6.5 to pH 7.5 (pH 7 is acid free).

Usu Mino off white 21.5x31, 25 gsm, 70 mitsumata 30 acid free wood pulp $2.95

A very thin, lightweight mending tissue that can be used for tracing as well as transferring printed images from the key block to color blocks. Sized, machine made (no deckle).

Yamashiro natural 25x37 25 gsm unknown fiber content $6.95

A fine, very lightweight paper. Yamashiro has slightly more body than Usu Mino (P6951) and in physical size is about 30% larger. Intended for use as a mending tissue, Sized, probably machine made (no deckle)

Kitakata, natural and green 16x20 30 gsm gampi $2.95

This warm, natural-colored, strong 100% gampi paper has a smooth surface. Unsized, handmade (three deckle edges, one torn edge)

Mulberry warm white 24x33.5, 45 gsm 30% kozo and 70% acid free pulp, $4.65

A fine textured, soft, naturally warm colored paper. Mulberry papers are long fibered and strong. It has excellent wet strength. Unsized, handmade (four deckle edges).

Unryu, white “cloud dragon paper 24x36 40 gsm kozo and ? probably wood pulp $3.28

Unryu features an overall, swirling pattern of kozo fibers, creating a pronounced texture. It is a translucent paper. Does not tear well because of the fibers. Unsized, handmade (four deckle edges)/

Hosho white (professional grade) 60 gsm 19x24 100% sulphite, $4.75

A very white machine made paper with a subtle laid line, known for its thick, fluffy texture and strength. Hosho resists shrinking very well and is very absorbent. Unsized, handmade (four deckle edges).

Hosho white (student grade) 18x22, 100% sulfite, 95 gsm $2.30

Hosho Student has a slightly softer surface and a bit more texture compared to Hosho Professional.

Christina Z. Anderson
Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography series <https://www.routledge.com/Contemporary-Practices-in-Alternative-Process-Photography/book-series/CPAPP>

> On Jan 15, 2018, at 7:55 PM, Keith Schreiber <keith at jkschreiber.com> wrote:
> In a nutshell, alpha-cellulose it what we want whether it is from cotton fiber, bast fibers, wood-pulp, or any other source. Cotton is a high alpha cellulose fiber. The sulfite (sulphite) process is one way of obtaining it from wood-pulp by removing the lignin and hemicellulose. 
> Here are some links that might be of help:
> http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Alpha_cellulose <http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Alpha_cellulose>
> http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Sulfite_process <http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Sulfite_process>
> While I think a paper like Masa is probably fairly "archival", it has other shortcomings due to short fibers which make for a weaker sheet, and being too brightly bleached in my opinion. You might also be interested to know that there is a hand-made dosa-sized paper called Masa available from McClain's Printmaking Supply <http://www.imcclains.com/catalog/paper/groupc.html> that is very nice.
> Keith
>> On Jan 15, 2018, at 6:49 PM, Christina Z. Anderson via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org <mailto:alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>> wrote:
>> Bob,
>> Thanks for checking on this, but I’m still unclear on one important detail.
>> Can you ask Doug if 100% sulphite or 100% high alpha cellulose is lignin free? I thought I read that these removed lignin. The reason I ask is there are some high end papers that have these ingredients now and Masa is one that is 100% sulphite. And I don’t know a lignin from a hole in my head so it’d sure clarify it for me :)
>> Chris
>> On Jan 15, 2018, at 6:42 PM, bobkiss caribsurf.com <http://caribsurf.com/> via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org <mailto:alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>> wrote:
>>> Below is info from Doug Ishimura of IPI on lignins forwarded with his permission: 
>>> Lignin has been a very big issue in the deterioration of photographs. Even the Fading Committee of 1855 noted that poor quality mount boards were a cause for fading photographs. 
>>> In the 1960s and again in the 1980s, lignin from poor quality cardboard microfilm boxes were implicated in the formation of red spots or redox blemishes on microfilm. These spots are a form of silver image deterioration. As it turns out, the lignin, a complex, undefined organic molecule, generates peroxides as it breaks down. It also produces molecules that are referred to as chromophores that cause staining of the gelatin and albumen in photographs. 
>>> Peroxides are bad because they can remove electrons from silver converting image silver to mobile, silver ions (silver oxidation) and can provide electrons to convert silver ions into elemental silver atoms (reduction). This wouldn’t be a problem if both events occurred immediately together, but they don’t and the silver ion has plenty of time to migrate away from the silver image particle where it originated. 
>>> The result that we see is yellow/orange/red staining of highlights and mid-tones, silver mirroring, fading, and red spots. 
>>> The photographic activity test in ISO 18916, which is required in the enclosure standard, ISO 18902, looks for both staining of proteins such as gelatin and albumen and silver particle oxidation or reduction. 
>>> -Doug 
>>> From: bobkiss caribsurf.com <http://caribsurf.com/> [ [ mailto:bobkiss at caribsurf.com <mailto:bobkiss at caribsurf.com> | mailto:bobkiss at caribsurf.com <mailto:bobkiss at caribsurf.com> ] ] 
>>> Does lignin content in paper keep it from being archival? I seem to recall that we used 100% cotton paper for our hand made prints because it was lignin free. 
>>> CHEERS! 
>>> BOB 

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