New paper according to the old recipe 09.04.2014
At that time the enamel paper was produced in large quantities and was demanded by the customers, mostly professional artists.
The production didn’t require additional investments – the technological maps and technical requirements were prepared. The papermaking technology has faced minor changes: instead of the previously applied chemicals and materials, their modern analogues were used, the normative documents were supplemented with a number of additional indexes, but on the whole the paper has remained the same. And the basic requirements to the enamel paper have remained the same as those of the soviet times.
“Analogues of the enamel paper have been produced in Italy and Germany all the time”, said Dmitry Demidov, Head Technologist of the Paper Mill, the author of the project of returning the famous paper to the assortment of the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill. “When reviving the enamel paper, we decided not to take the Italian or German sorts of paper as the basis, but reproduced the quality of the very paper produced at the Leningrad Paper Mill till 1991”.
“If we compare the paper of the famous Italian Fabriano to ours, we will see that an optical bleaching agent is applied for bleaching the imported paper, and pigments for tintage. Our paper has a natural colour at the moment, without chemicals adding additional whiteness. Of course, if it becomes necessary in the future, we can produce paper with higher whiteness and with various shades, but its costs will rise consequently. It all depends upon the demands of the market. It is also possible that we will produce new sorts of enamel paper”.
There already are positive expert opinions of artists about the enamel paper quality, the production of which is resumed at the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill. And there is interest of foreign potential customers.
The situation in our country, at the paper market changes, and there has reappeared a demand for a number of paper sorts that the Paper Mill hasn’t produced for a long time. Today such sorts of paper are imported, they are not produced in Russia. And the specialists of the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill are evaluating the matter of resuming the production of various sorts of paper.
Various painting and drawing sorts of paper produced at the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill is in great demand. After a long break the Mill is returning to the production of professional sorts of paper. It is possible that the specialists will decide to revive the production of the most legendary sort of paper of the Leningrad Paper Mill – the handmade paper.
But according to Dmitry Demidov, it is important to evaluate everything very carefully:
“Until recently there have been craftsmen knowing the technology of handmade paper production at the Paper Mill. We’ve got antique plates and models for the production of modern plates. But the recovery of production of handmade paper is quite expensive. There is nostalgia for handmade paper. But will there be real demand? Only our marketing specialists are able to answer the question after a serious market research”.