Categorized | Wrinkles

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What Is Methyl Cellulose (MC) Treated Paper?

For those of you who have started folding higher intermediate to complex models, I am sure you would not be happy with using plain Kami, or tissue paper as these are not generally suited to folding complex models.

Then you would think of using tissue foil, which is easily folded and can be shaped as desired. This is normally done at home by pasting together 2 sheets of tissue paper (the kind you would normally buy for gifting purposes) to either side of a sheet of household aluminum foil. In such a case, MC is never used to stick the sheets, as MC does not catch onto foil. Usually, a glue stick or any other normal glue is used to pat down the sheet on the foil and is brushed on in order to remove the 'air pockets' which could be caught in between.

MC is normally used to stick 2 sheets of paper together (with no tin / aluminum foil in between). You can stick two thin papers of different colors together in order to get a nice duo-colored paper to fold with. The only disadvantage as per the origami forum thread is that such paper is not PH-balanced and therefore has the tendency to fade away after a couple of years.

To stick sheets of paper with MC, you would need to coat them heavily with MC. You can try with reasonably large-sized paper such as 35 cms, which is an ideal size to fold complex origami models. One would have to allow the paper to 'soak' the MC when it is evenly spread on it.

How to make you own MC treated paper:

  • Step 1: Select the papers (or tissues) which you would like to paste together, along with your MC tub which you can buy online from the Paper-Source as well as a glass sheet which you can use for the pasting process.
  • Step 2: Apply some MC to the glass paste and evenly spread it out on the surface.
  • Step 3: Place one sheet on the MC coated glass sheet. Slowly brush the wrinkles and air bubbles out.
  • Step 4: After sometime, place the second sheet of paper over this already brushed out sheet on the glass. Make sure that you start placing it from the top, and move your brush over the top edge of it in order to hold the papers in place.
  • Step 5: Slowly brush the second sheet over the first by brushing it from top to bottom. This action will avoid air bubbles from getting trapped between the two sheets.
  • Step 6: Keep the papers to dry overnight.

The magic of using MC is that it seeps through the paper and becomes a part of it. Most folders say MC treated paper is easy to fold with the folds forming crisply and firmly.

MC solution mixtures can also be used for wet-folding. In such a case, you can use any paper of your choice and then after preparing a MC solution of MC (powder) and water, gently brush it onto the model. Once brushed over the model, you can now wet-fold it as desired.

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