Yesterday I took a trip to Sanganer, a village just outside of Jaipur, with some of the artists from my miniature painting class to see how paper is made. Traditional Indian miniature painting paper is called Wasli. This is completely recycled paper from anything you can think of from rose petals to tiny flakes of gold. This paper making place made paper out of jute, betel nut, pomegranate, even bananas!
First they grind up the jute to create a pulp
This is the raw jute
And then it is submerged into water and mixed 200 times a day for a week. After the jute has reached the right consistency, a bamboo mat contraption is held underneath the water to pull up the jute in the rectangular form.
The paper is then hung up to dry
Then the natural dying process begins
The most incredible paper! I bought some of each type. The dark is betel nut (if you chew on betel nut for a while you can experience hallucinations), to the right is indigo, the gold is the banana paper and the rest is the traditional Wasli paper.