You are on page 1of 5

Study on the Quality Improvement of Argeli [Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn.

]
Paper through Improve Technology

Khilendra Gurung
Himalayan Bio Trade Pvt. Ltd.
E-mail: khilendragurung@yahoo.com

Abstract
A study on the quality improvement of Argeli [Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn.]
paper by the introduction of improve paper making technology was carried out.
Consultation on how to improve the quality of Argeli paper was carried out with paper
manufacturers and exporters based in Kathmandu. Furthermore, various Argeli paper
manufacturing companies of Kathmandu were visited. The observation was done visually
and interviews were taken. The quality of Argeli papers manufactured by them was also
analyzed. Altogether two varieties of paper production techniques were tested for pure
Argeli paper and mixed Argeli paper.
The study revealed that almost all Argeli paper manufacturers adopted Japanese
technology and few followed the traditional methods of paper making.
Both the varieties of paper produced after adopting the improved technology were found
to improve in quality in terms of strength, thickness balance, maintaining weight, smooth
surface and low moisture absorption compare to the existing technology used for paper
making.

Key words index: Argeli, Edgeworthia gardneri, Argeli paper, mixed Argeli paper,
Improve technology, Japanese technology.

Introduction
Argeli [Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn.] has a wide range of distribution in eastern
hilly regions, ranging between 1500m-3000m (HMG/N, 1976; Polunin and Stainton,
1984; Kanpou Nepal, 2000; Press et al. 2000; ANSAB, 2003 and Shrestha and
Chapagain, 2003). Besides, it is cultivated in community forests, in marginal and private
lands. Argeli is considered as an additional source of raw material for paper making, as it
has characteristic of quick regenerating potentiality in natural condition and on
cultivation it provides the yield in short period of time. Moreover, the cultivation
technique is easy to disseminate to farmers. So, Argeli can be self conserved in nature and
can be utilized in a sustainable way for paper making.
Various private and community owned enterprises have been making handmade paper
from Argeli bark; either from Argeli alone or mixed with Lokta (Daphne spp) bark.
However, due to the lack of appropriate technology for paper making, handmade paper
enterprises could not produce the quality paper from Argeli bark alone. Therefore, Argeli
fiber has been rarely used in paper making alone, even it has the potential market.
So, this research attempts to target for quality improvement of Argeli paper by the
introduction of improve paper making technology.

1
Objectives
The objectives of this study are are follows:
 To identify the improve technology for Argeli paper production.
 To find out the appropriate proportion of Argeli fiber to mix with Lokta fiber to
produce Lokta-Argeli mixed paper.

Materials and Methods


Consultations with Experts
During the preliminary stage, the consultation on how to improve the quality of Argeli
paper was carried out with paper manufacturers and exporters of Kathmandu. The work
was carried out with the inputs from: Hand Made Paper Association, Oriental Colony,
Everest Gateway Herbs P. Ltd., Jiri, Natural Paper Craft, Mandikhatar, Tibetan
Handmade Paper Industry, Kapan, Hand Made Paper P. Ltd., Kalanki, Om Paper Craft,
Jorpati and Love Nepali Kagaj Udhyog, Kalopul.

Assessment of the Existing Technology for Argeli Paper Making


Various Argeli paper manufacturers of Kathmandu were visited. The observation was
done visually and interviews were taken with the proprietors and workers involved in the
manufacturing of Argeli paper. The samples of Argeli paper were also collected from
manufacturers. The quality of Argeli papers thus manufactured was also analyzed.

Improvement of Paper Quality


Altogether two varieties of paper production techniques were tested.

Pure Argeli Paper


Pure Argeli paper was produced with necessary improvements as according to the
consultation with paper experts. Argeli paper with different weights-5gm, 10 gm, 20gm,
40gm and 60gm were produced adopting Japanese technology, except 5gm paper. The
procedure followed during the paper making stages are given in annex- 1.

Mixed Argeli Paper


Mixed variety of Argeli paper; both containing Argeli and Lokta fiber was produced as
according to the consultation with paper experts. Mixed paper with different weights-
10gm, 20gm and 40gm were produced adopting traditional methods. The methods
followed during the paper making stage are given in annex- 2.

Results and Discussion


The study revealed that almost all Argeli paper manufacturers adopt Japanese technology
and few follow the traditional methods of paper making.
The papers were found to be of less strength, thickness balance not maintained, low in
weight than specified, rough surface, moisture absorption high (ink absorption) and
difficult for plate dyeing.
Both the varieties of paper produced after adopting the improved technology were found
to improve in quality in terms of strength, thickness balance, maintaining weight, smooth
surface, low moisture absorption and mixed paper were plate dyed.

2
During the storage of Argeli paper, the following technology should be used to maintain
the quality of paper.
1. Paper should be stored in room with cross ventilation.
2. Store room should not leak water.
3. Be sure that store room should not be the habitat of rodents.
4. Paper should be placed in good quality wooden tools (not directly on the floor).
5. Paper should be stored for at least 3 months before use for increasing strength and to
reduce ink absorption.

Recommendations
1. Ash should be used in percentage basis with caustic soda for baking the Lokta/Argeli
fibers.
2. Natural noorie (Inner bark of Gogan; Saurauia napaulensis DC, Inner bark of Kaulo;
Persea odoratissima (Nees) Kosterm. etc) should be tested.
3. Fibers other than Lokta should be tested to mix with Argeli for improving the strength.
4. Vegetable/Chemical dye on Argeli paper should be tested.
5. Adopted appropriate technology should be transferred to the community enterprises.
6. Market linkage activities should be conducted to promote Argeli paper produced by the
community enterprises.

Acknowledgements
I am grateful to Parbat Gurung for providing me this privilege to carry out the work. I
would like to express my sincere gratitude to Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture
and Bioresources (ANSAB) for the financial support. I would also like to thank Bibendra
Singh, Sonam Sherpa, Ichchha B. Karki, Nima Sherpa, Bharat K. Shrestha, Suraj Hada
and Chandra B. Khatri for their kind consultation throughout the study period.

References
 HMG/N. 1976. Medicinal Plants of Nepal. HMG/N, Ministry of Forest and Soil
Conservation, Kathmandu.
 Polunin, O and A Stainton. 1984. Flowers of the Himalaya. Oxford University Press.
 Kanpou Nepal. 2000. Argeli (Upayogita, Bistar tatha Utpadan Paddati: In Nepali).
Kanpou Nepal, Kathmandu.
 Press, J R, K K Shrestha and D A Sutton. 2000. Annotated Checklist of the Flowering
Plants of Nepal. The Natural History Museum, London.
 ANSAB. 2003. Commercially Important Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) of
Nepal. ANSAB, Kathmandu.
 Shrestha, S K and K R Chapagain. 2003. Solukhumbuka Gairkaastha Ban Paidawar:
Ek Chinari. District Forest Office, Solukhumbu.

3
Annex-1
The procedure followed during the pure Argeli paper making stages are as follows:
The Argeli fiber collected during the months December-March was used as raw materials.

Only the fibers harvested from the young plants, devoid of diseases were used.

Steaming was done while separating the fiber from the Argeli bark.

It was assured that smoke didn't contaminate to Argeli fiber while steaming.

Argeli bark was soaked in water tank overnight.

Foreign materials were removed from Argeli bark.

The fiber was then well baked in cooking vat with caustic soda (5% of the total weight of
Argeli weight) for 1-3 hours.

Baked Argeli fiber was again washed with running water (overnight, if possible); insuring
caustic soda and unwanted materials removed.

The dirt and non fibers were removed.

The bark was then ground using beater machine (made from stainless steel would be
better) to make homogeneous pulp for about half to one hour.

Liquid bleach was poured to the pulp and kept overnight.

Unwanted materials were again removed from the pulp.

The bleach was washed properly.

Noorie was prepared the day before making paper; 100 gm diluted in 2 lit of water.

Noorie thus prepared was poured in vat containing pulp and water and stirred with drill
machine having rotatary fans.

Liquid sibu (extract of Haluwabed fruit; Diospyros virginiana L.) was used in nets to
ensure that the paper doesn't stick to the nets.

The remaining processes are same as the existing methods (Japanese methods).

For vegetable/chemical dye, pulp dye method was followed (Vegetable color/chemical
color was added as per requirement to pulp at the time of paper making). Plate dye did
not retain in this process of paper making.

To produce natural color (Creamy color paper), liquid bleach should not be used.

4
Annex-2
The methods followed during the mixed Argeli paper making stages are as follows:
Both Argeli bark and Lokta bark was soaked in water tank overnight separately.

Foreign materials were removed from both the barks.

Both the fibers were then well baked in cooking vat with caustic soda (5% of the total
weight of the barks) for 1-3 hours, separately.

Baked Argeli fibers and Lokta fibers were again washed with running water (overnight, if
possible), separately.

The dirt and non fibers were removed from both fibers.

10% of Lokta bark and 90% of Argeli bark were mixed and then ground using beater
machine (made from stainless steel would be better) to make homogeneous pulp for
about half to one hour.

Liquid bleach was poured to the pulp and kept overnight.

Unwanted materials were again removed from the pulp.

The bleach was washed properly.

Noorie was prepared the day before making paper; 100gm diluted in 2 lit of water.

Noorie thus prepared was poured in vat containing pulp and water and stirred with drill
machine having rotatary fans.

The remaining processes are same as the existing traditional methods of paper making.

To produce natural color (Creamy color paper), liquid bleach should not be used.