Thursday, 14 August 2014
Felts can be made of wool(worsted) or synthetics. They have two main purposes, to aid with water removal from the sheet and to add texture to the papers’ surface.
Different felts are used to give different textures. A more open weave gives deeper troughs and peaks that is a required of rough watercolour papers. A closer knit felt weave is used for the other textures, eg HP, Not, Velvet, Satin.
The point where the texture is imparted to the sheet is at the press section. The fibrous matrix is still very wet and malleable, allowing the surface of the sheet to be moulded to the contours of the felt.
Woollen felts are preferred to synthetics as the weave is less mechanical. Woollen felts are almost hand made; no two are exactly the same, thus giving random textures.
Woollen felts wear over a relatively short time. Our skilled papermakers are adept at altering the paper machine to ensure the surface of the paper is a good match to paper surface standards throughout the felt’s life
Grading of the paper’s surface texture is done by eye using a grazing light.