Best Paper Technique Books


I’m a huge fan of innovation in paper. This medium is incredible because aside from just making your own sheets, you can paint with pulp, drape freshly formed sheets over an armature, cast, embed, emboss, create watermarks, add inclusions and more. Check out this selection of books that focus on hand papermaking techniques.

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Some of these books were written awhile ago, but they still have great content! Others are out of print, but you can still find used copies. Let me know if you have a favorite book about hand papermaking techniques, and I’ll consider adding it to this list.

Papermaking: How to Make Handmade Paper for Printmaking, Drawing, Painting, Relief & Cast Forms, Books Arts, and Mixed Media

Jules Heller, 1978

Written by a professor in the 1970’s who did thorough research when the renaissance of hand papermaking as an art form was occurring. This book includes chapters on the practice and theory of hand papermaking, a gallery of experimental approaches by artists (including brief biographies), a section on papermaking for schools, including resources and a glossary, plus an incredible bibliography.

The Art of Papermaking

Bernard Toale, 1983

Similar to Heller’s book, but written 15 years later when the craft had blossomed and printing in full color had become more common. Toale writes comprehensively about Eastern, Western and plant fiber techniques. There is also a section on contemporary sculptural techniques including spraying pulp, making moulds and vacuum table casting. Includes a glossary, bibliography and an appendix listing suppliers of the time.

Creative Handmade Paper: How to Make Paper from Recycled & Natural Materials

David Watson, 1991

This is a basic step-by-step book with color photos for making paper at home: recycled paper, plant papers, embossing, coloring, watermarks, making large sheets, pulp painting, collage and a simple bookbinding project.

Packed with creative and environmentally friendly ideas, this books shows how to transform waste papers and plants into an array of handmade papers & sculptured landscapes.

The Art & Craft of Papermaking

Sophie Dawson, 1992

This book has a comprehensive section on all of the papermaking basics, from beating to fiber collection and pulp preparation, sheet forming, couching, pressing, drying and finishing. Experimental techniques with color photography including laminating, embedding, inclusions, shaped sheets, embossing, making papyrus, watermarking & more. Special sections include pulp spraying, vacuum forming, sculptural techniques, book arts, paper for textiles, and paper for prints.

The Papermaker’s Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making & Using Handmade Paper

Helen Hiebert, 2000

Yes, this is a shameless plug for my own book, but many colleagues tell me they use it as a text book in their classrooms. This book covers basic to professional equipment, a variety of methods for making paper and comprehensive details for exploring papermaking techniques.

I made a companion film called The Papermaker’s Studio Guide DVD which you might also like.

Helen Hiebert Studio participates in the Amazon affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. This means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link here, I get a small percentage of its price, which helps support Helen Hiebert Studio by offsetting the maintenance of this site and the free resources I provide. Thank you!


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