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Transforming Rags into Handmade Paper

Saint-Armand Paper has become famous in fine-art circles across North America for its exquisite handmade paper. David Carruthers along with his partner Denise Lapointe are able to transform scraps of denim and T-shirts as well as flax straw into fine paper, books and cards. Here is a gallery of some the products created at this Montreal paper mill.

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Made from all recycled materials, St Armand has one of the most enviro-friendly products on the market.

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Handmade White 100% Rag Paper

St. Armand has become well known for its white paper made from 100 percent cotton rag. The process of transforming the rags into paper involves several steps, including pounding the fabric to break down the fibres. The paper’s high resistance to water makes it an ideal paper for printmaking, ink, acrylic, embossing and watercolour.  

 

 

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Old Master Paper

St. Armand has revived techniques dating back to the 17th century that used linen to produce the paper used for ancient manuscripts. Since the books were by hand, linen paper was preferred because it was resistance to the ink used by calligraphers. This Old Master Paper has been used in many restorations of books and wallpaper.

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Handmade Coloured Paper

Coloured rags made from 100 percent cotton are used to create the 32 colours of St. Armand paper. The brilliant colours are perfect printmaking, book making, pastel, drawing and painting, including watercolour. This colourful collage, entitled “Ma voisine” was by Alexandra Pilote in 2002.

 

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Machine Made Canal Paper

St. Armand also makes machine made paper on a specially designed Fourdrinier machine. For this paper they use the rags from off cuts of white T-shirts and blue denim combined with flax straw from farmers. The machine made paper is turned into a wide variety of pads and books.

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Sabretooth® Pastel Paper

Understanding the needs to artists is a cornerstone of their business. The company also produces an archival sanded pastel paper in nine colours that is ideal for pastel, but can be used for charcoal and oil pastel. It has enough resistance to be sanded down to remove some of the texture and can be scratched for or in sections.

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Canal Paper Pads

Covered with a wrapper showing a view of the Lachine Canal in 1880, these pads are popular sellers. The paper mill is located in one of the brick factories along Montreal’s Lachine Canal.