The paper on which the Honourable Mr. Morrison's book was printed, was manufactured from the common yellow bamboo paper of the Chinese, by sizing it in water saturated with alum, to which glue was added ; and the sheets dried and smoothed by rubbing them on a warm wall. The glazing upon Chinese writing paper is made by waxing the sheet, and afterwards rubbing it with a smooth stone ; two, three, and four sheets arc made into one thick sheet for ledgers or other account books, by the same process, after wetting the inner surfaces with glue water, and drying the sheet in the sun. There is also a thin paper called Nankin paper, which is manufactured from cotton wool, that is tougher and more flexible than 1 the bamboo paper. Coloured paper is exported in considerable quantities; the exportation of all kinds is principally to India and the Archipelago.
In China itself the consumption of Chinese writing paper is great, on account of its not being injured by the climate, foreign paper sized with glue being liable to spoil.
The making of paper in China from the bamboo is carried out somewhat in the following manner : —After being soaked for some time in water, the bamboos are split up and saturated with lime and water, until they become quite soft. They are then beaten up into a pulp in mortars, or, where water-power is at hand, as in the hilly districts, the beating or stamping process is done by means of stompers, which rise and fall as the cogs which are placed on the axis of the water-wheel revolve. When the mass has been reduced to a fine pulpy substance, it is then taken to a furnace and well boiled, until it has become perfectly fine, and of the proper consistency. It is then formed into sheets of paper of various degrees of fineness, according to the purposes for which it is intended. It is not only used for writing upon and for packing with, but a large quantity of a coarse description is made for the sole purpose of mixing with the mortar used by bricklayers.
With the Broussonetia papyrifera, the following is the process adopted by the Chinese:—The small branches are cut by them in lengths of about 3 feet, and boiled in an alkaline ley for the sake of loosening the inner rind or bark, which is then peeled off and dried for use. When a sufficient quantity has been thus laid up, it is again softened in water for three or four days, and the outer parts are scraped off as useless ; the rest is boiled in clear ley, which is kept strongly agitated all the time, until the bark has become tender and separates into distinct fibres. It is then placed in a pan or sieve, and washed in a running stream, being at the same time worked with the hands, until it becomes a delicate and soft pulp. For the finer sorts of paper, the pulp receives a second washing in a linen bag ; it is then spread out on a smooth table, and beaten with a wooden mallet, until it is extremely fine. Thus prepared, it is put into a tub with a slimy infusion of rice and a root called oreni ; then it is stirred until the ingredients are properly blended ; it is next re moved to a large vessel to admit of moulds being dipped into it. These moulds are made of bul
rushes cut into narrow strips and mounted in a frame; as the paper is moulded, the sheets are placed covered with a double mat. The sheets are laid one on the other, with a small piece of reed between, and this, standing out a little way, serves afterwards to lift them up leaf by leaf. Every heap is covered with a board and weights to press out the water ; on the following day the sheets are lifted singly by means of the projecting reeds, and are placed on a plank to be dried in the sun. This paper is so delicate that only one side can be written on, but the Chinese sometimes double the sheets, and glue them together so neatly, that they appear to be a single leaf.
In Japan, in December, after the tree has shed its leaves, they cut off the branches about 3 feet in length, and tie them up in bundles. They are then boiled in a ley of ashes in a covered kettle, till the bark is so shrunk that half an inch of the wood may be seen projecting at either end of the branch. When they have become cool, the bark is stripped off and soaked in water three or four hours until it becomes soft, when the fine black is scraped off with a knife. The coarse bark is then separated from the fine. That of the new branches makes the finest paper. The bark is then boiled again in fresh ley, continually stirred with a stick, and fresh water from time to time is added. It is then put in a sieve and taken to a brook, and hero the bark is incessantly stirred until it become a fine pulp. It is then thrown into water, and separates in the form of meal. This is put into a small vessel with a decoction of rice and a species of hibiscus, and stirred until it has attained a tolerable consistence. It is then poured into a large vessel, from whence it is taken out and put in the form of sheets on mats or layers of grass straw ; these sheets are laid one upon another with straw between, and pressed to force the water out. After this, they are spread upon boards in the sun, dried, cut, and gathered into bundles for sale. This paper will better endure foldins. and last longer, than that made in Europe ; is used to form the walls of rooms, and the fans in universal use ; it is used as wrapping paper, and forms the string to tie it; iu square pieces it is used as pocket-handkerchiefs, and pressed together and lacquered is worn as hats. This paper is of every consistency, but always tough. The youngest branches form the whitest paper. It is impossible to tear this paper against the grain. It is of different qualities, and some of it is as soft and flexible as cotton cloth. Indeed, that used for handkerchiefs might be mistaken for cloth, so far as toughness and flexibility are concerned. Paper of Japan is applied also in lieu of glass on the sliding walls of the houses, for pocket- handkerchiefs, for napkins, tablecloths, waistcoats, and other articles of wearing apparel.