A New Linen Paper for all Siderotype (Iron-based) Processes which includes Platinum.
In a recent email, Dr. Mike Ware gave the exciting news of this new paper. In his email he stated that “the commercial supplies of cotton furnishings for high quality papermaking have become increasingly unreliable”. Ruscombe Mill at Margaux, France, which will produce the new linen paper will aptly name it “Herschel” after Sir John Frederick William Herschel, the inventor of Cyanotype and other alternative processes.
Ware elaborated that “[the new paper] will differ from all other alternative process papers in being handmade from 100% linen cellulose fibre (i.e. made entirely from the best quality flax, not cotton).”
The following from his email explains the difference between the two agricultural products. I’m especially intrigued by the fact that linen is “less elastic” than cotton.
COTTON is a ‘seed fibre’ from the seed hairs of Gossypium hirsutum. The fibre has an average length of 25 mm and a width of 0.019 mm. Its appearance is of a flat ribbon with an internal cavity (the ‘lumen’), rather like a deflated inner-tube of a bike tyre, which is twisted in the unprocessed state:-
LINEN is a ‘bast fibre’ from the stem of the Common Flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Its fibre has a similar size to cotton, but is cylindrical with a thick cell wall and an internal cavity (the ‘lumen’) of relatively small diameter. It has periodic knots or nodules, so resembles bamboo. When beaten it fibrillates more extensively than cotton, so forms a stronger, less elastic paper sheet:-