How things work: Paper

What is a Naira note, a cardboard box, and a book have In common? They're all made from paper, of course!

Paper is one of the world's most important and useful products. Without it, there would be no newspapers, magazines, writing paper, or greeting cards. Without it, you wouldn't even be reading this piece! There would be no paper bags or boxes, paper money, gift wrapping, or toilet paper. Take a look around you. How many things can you see that are made from paper?


Paper is made from tiny fibres from plants. You can see the fibres at the edge of a torn piece of paper. You can make paper from many types of plant fibres. Papermakers use fibres in straw, leaves, bamboo, sugar-cane, and bark. Long ago, most papermakers used the fibres in cotton and linen rags. Today, most paper is made from wood fibres. The most important trees used for making paper are softwood trees. Softwoods include pine, fire, hemlock, and spruce. The long

fibres in softwoods are ideal for making many kinds of paper. After paper is used, it can be reused, or recycled, to make new paper.


Paper is made in two stages. The first stage is to remove the fibres from the wood. This is done by grinding the wood or cutting it into chips that are softened with chemicals. The wood fibres are then mixed with water to make a souplike substance called pulp.

The second stage is to spread out the pulp, press it flat, and dry it. This makes the fibres stick together in thin sheets. Some paper is still made by hand. But most paper is made by machines at factories called paper mills.


Different kinds of pulp make different  kinds of paper. Pulp made by grinding is called groundwood pulp. it's inexpensive to meake, but the grinding breaks the wood fibres into very short pieces. Groundwood pulp is used to make cheap papers, such as newsprint. Pulp is made using chemicals is alled chemical pulp. the chemicals separate the fibres from each other but do not break them chemical pulp is used to make stronger, longer-lasting paper for use in fine books and magazines.The best writing paper and stationary comes from cotton and linen rag fibres, thin rag fibres are long, strong, and make very durable paper. Fibre from recycled pape is used to make paper towels, napkins, and tissue. Paper for printing is treated with special chemicals so the paper won't absorb iink and cause fuxxy kines that are hear to read.


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited