Water Hyacinth Paper

Global Mamas: Water Hyacinth Paper

Making Water Hyacinth Paper

Hyacinth paper has been in production for a while now in Kenya and other parts of the world. An organization originally experimented turning water hyacinth into paper in 1980 in Bangladesh. Everything went wrong! We are glad that they persisted. The water weed is converted into pulp and used to make paper. It takes 8 hours to dry the paper in the sun. Some of our water hyacinth paper products include lanyards and notecards.

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Steps to Making Water Hyacinth Paper

  1. Harvest hyacinth plants, chop off roots and leaves.

  2. Cook chopped hyacinth on low flame for about three hours.

  3. Sieve cooked chopped hyacinth into bowl.

  4. Pour into a blender or mixing machine along with recycled paper that has been mashed into pulp and left in a concentrate for a few days. Blend the mixture.

  5. Pour out mixed hyacinth and recycled paper concentrate into a giant tank of water to cool.

  6. Remove unwanted coarse material from the concentrate.

  7. Arrange pulp on screen rectangular wooden frames and dry for about five to six hours.

  8. Flatten the Hyacinth paper if desired, the paper is ready to be made into postcards, paper products.

tools we use

  • Pulping Machine
  • Starch Adhesive
  • Pressing Machine
  • Tanks Filled with Water

tips we've learned

  • For a lighter tone add a larger proportion of recycled paper to your mix!
Fetching Cooked Hyacinth Weed
Fetching cooked Hyacinth weed from the pot to begin the papermaking process Mashed Hyacinth Paper
Mashed paper concentrate meets cooked chopped Hyacinth in the blending machine
 
Global Mamas
Global Mamas: Celestine

Paper Making Mamas

Celestine Arthur has been a Global Mama since 2019. She is a fun-loving woman who loves to eat at least one ball of banku a day! She started out as a water hyacinth paper making trainee last year and was quickly chosen by her peers to be the team leader. She likes working with Global Mamas because of the 40-hour a week schedule, which leaves her time to do the other  things that she enjoys. “I am happy for the opportunity that Global Mamas has given me because it is helping me send my son to school. I want him to go far in his education and have all the opportunities I did not.”

“I am proud of the skills I've learned, I did not know anything about paper making, but now I can make different types of products.”

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