Treating Paper Before Folding
How many times have you wanted to fold something and discovered that in your secret stash of paper there is nothing that quite fits the bill? Wrong colours, wrong sizes, wrong everything?
This is fairly easily rectified with the minimum of equipment. Allow me to show you how.
I wanted a sheet of paper, about A3 size, that was pink on one side and blue on the other.
First, I got hold of a sheet of lokta of each colour.
You need a large sheet of plastic and two of those plastic strips that snap onto trunking. These can be bought very cheaply from your local hardware/do-it-yourself store. Make sure that the large sheet of plastic is larger than the paper you nwish to treat by about 150mm (6").
Next prepare 2 "Bulldog" paper clips with some wire to provide a bendable hook.
And, finally, that origamists' best friend - glue!
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate). This can be obtained from the same place as the plastic sheet and electrical trunking. You can also buy it from artist supply shops at ridiculously inflated prices. A 2 litre tub will last you for ages.
Put a few spoonfuls into a small plastic tub and add cold water. Mix it thoroughly and keep adding cold water until it is about the consistency of milk.
We are now ready to go:
Lay one of the sheets of paper onto the plastic and brush on the PVA mixture. Try to spread it evenly. When this is done, carefully lift the paper, turn it over and repeat on the other side.
Then take the trunking strips and place one underneath the edge of the paper and the other on top of the edge of the paper, clip on the clips:
... and hang the paper over the bath.
If all you require is single coloured paper, stop here. When the paper is dry leave under a heavy weight for a day or two to completely flatten out, trim to size and fold.
If you want duo paper. repeat with the second colour and, while the second sheet is still a bit damp, take it down, brush on another layer of dilute PVA and apply the first sheet on top. Removing as many air bubbles as you can. Hang that up to dry and, when it is only a bit damp take it down and iron it flat and smooth with a steam iron. Taking care not to scorch the paper.
Paper that has been prepared with an additional coating of dilute PVA has many advantages over non-treated paper:
When folding it feels a bit like wet-folding without the wet.
It makes fragile and thin paper very much stronger and able to withstand rough treatment.
When you have completed the model to your satisfaction, a few more coats of dilute PVA will produce a rock-hard model that will last for years.