Even today many printers only uses paper hand made in selective province's in China, this special paper is made using an age old technology. The paper is called jade paper, it begins with bamboo and hemp being ground into pulp. After this, workers lie a very fine bamboo sieve vertically into the solution and let the sieve sit in this manner to collect the fibers.
The fibers are then carefully smoothed out on a wooden board until they take shape, dehydrate and become a thin piece of paper. After it is completely dried, it becomes a sheet of paper. The water used in every step from grinding the hemp and the bamboo to sieving the fabric comes from nearby mountain springs. Tap water is never used. As a result, this paper, perfectly absorbing the ink is ideal for block printing.
This fantastic video documents the work of Siuyuett Tsang (Teresa Tsang) during a bookbinding project.
Directed by Calvin Li and filmed by Kenji Wong the movie takes you through the various aspects of creating a book from scratch, including, in various degrees of detail, the following steps:
- Preparing the signatures
- Putting cloth on cover boards
- Piercing signatures
- Waxing the thread
- Threading and sewing signatures using a sewing frame
- Attaching cover boards
- Weaving the spine spine
- Adding the finishing touches
The documentary has been edited down to 5 minutes in duration from a total of 10+ hours of footage taken over 2 days.