Rice Paper

Rice Paper Sizing

Sizing is to reduce the absorbency of rice paper. Adjust the mixture below according to desired absorbency.

Cooking gelatin
100 g
Cooking alum
50 g
1,250 ml

How to

Put cooking gelatin into a jar filled with clear water about half an hour. Heat the jar in boiling water until the gelatin dissolved. Take the jar off the hot water and let it cool down little before adding cooking alum. The mixture should taste little bitter. The absorbency of a rice paper is determined by the amount of gelatin and alum in the mixture. Test it on a strip of paper for expected result.

Put a sheet of felt under the paper to be sized. This will protect the paper from sizing brush. Brush sizing mixture evenly over the surface of the paper, overlapping strokes next to each other.

Sizing for etching

Rice paper for etching should be sized, for sized paper will stand rougher handling without fiber lifting. Place the paper to be sized on a board which slopes down to a vessel to collect superfluous liquid. By raising the paper with your left hand at its foot, brush prepared hot mixture onto paper, beginning at the top of the sheet. It is the general practice to avoid wetting the two upper corners, so the fiber at those spots will not give way in lifting.

Smoothing creases on rice paper

Sizing mixture gives the paper creases. The creases are harmless to the paper. For loose folds, roll the paper up. The paper will cure itself up. If the paper is used for art, the work will be eventually flattened through mounting. If the paper is used for crafts such as lantern, lightly spray water over the finished project. The paper will dry flat. If just a flat sheet is wanted, try this.

  1. To flatten the whole sheet of paper, dampen the paper with water. Thin Elmer's glue into a liquid that is just sticky enough to stand the shrinkage of the paper. Apply the glue to edges of the paper, and then mount the paper over a flat surface such as wood floor or dry wall. The paper will dry flat.
  2. Or for small creases, a warm iron may work. Set the iron to medium hot. Lay the rice paper to be smoothed on an iron board, moving the iron towards the edge of the paper with little pressure. Never set the iron too hot. High temperature will burn the paper.
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