Making Paper from Pineapple Leaves






Part of my project, DX514, which was called Fibre Based Composites, we made paper and this inspired me to create some paper previously for this project. As part of my current project I have decided to create paper from pineapple leaves from a recipe online that I had to doctor and guess from as I went along. After researching what you can do with pineapples I found that you could in fact make paper from the leaves, I wanted to put this to the test.

Ingredients –

  • Recycled paper
  • Pineapple leaves
  • Water
  • Two stock cubes (that contain corn starch)
  • Sponge
  • Blender
  • Large tub/bowl
  • 1 Large Cooking Pot
  • 1 Mesh grid or sieve
  • 1 cloth

Instructions –

  1. Mix up the blended, recycled paper with water. 2/3 is water to 1/3 of paper. (you will need more water than you think) Put the mixture into a large cooking pot.
  2. Blend pineapple leaves from two pineapples and add this to the large cooking pot.
  3. Add the two stock cubes and simmer for two hours
  4. Let cool until you can put your hand in the mixture
  5. Submerge the mesh grid into the mixture and collect a thin layer on top of the grid.
  6. Place the lid of the grid on and squeeze the excess water out.
  7. Take the top off the grid and flip the grid face down onto the cloth.
  8. Take the sponge and rub the grid down whist soaking up as much water as possible.
  9. Once you have soaked up as much water as possible, remove the grid from the cloth, which should leave the paper mix onto the cloth.
  10. Leave the mixture to dry over 1 – 2 weeks and then you can start using the creation.

I found that the pineapple leaves did not blend as well as I would have like as the stringy fibres would get caught around the blender’s blade. I cut the pineapple leaves as fine as I could but left some bigger bits.  The final product dried and produced a good outcome. The corn starch in the stock cube hardened the mixture and acted like a setting agent, I found that this batch of paper was sturdier than my previous batch. Over all I am happier with the way this experiment turned out and also how the bigger bits of pineapple leaves looked within the paper. I think after more practise I will be able to produce better quality paper that can be sold on a commercial level but for the moment, for this project I will leave my experimenting here. I chose to create this experiment in a way to understand what a pineapple can do and also how resilient it is. I am excited to see what happens next in the Piñatex base camp and what else they can produce using pineapple leaves.

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