Handmade Paper Fibres

Initially, I was going to use this post to compare a few different types of paper. But I stumbled onto this very interesting thing with handmade paper instead!

Assuming the 140~ times magnification of the lens (as said in the foldscope kit) is accurate for my images, we are viewing the fibres at approximately 2 microns! Which is probably not very accurate. But I don’t have the foggiest of where to start in order to be accurate. The light source is an LED lamp balanced precariously on the side of my work-table. The paper is sourced from a diary (which has a few different colours) I bought a few years ago from Nanital.

The white handmade paper!

First, I used white handmade paper to test out the transparency of the material. The paper was far more translucent than I expected it to be! No need for trying to make it thinner at all. And much more chaotic in its structure than I had expected it to be. The image of the individual fibres was also not very sharp. No amount of changing the distance between the light source or changing the position of the sample helped. So, I decided to use a different colour sample of the same paper.

This time the results were far more strange. I chose a light blue paper as the sample. The fibres were, in fact, not sharper when the light source is further away. The fibres are blurry and the image is also dull. So, I moved the foldscope closer to the lamp and then the results unexpectedly changed!

Now the image was brighter and the fibres are slightly sharper but the colour is more green than it was blue! I had not expected the colour to change so dramatically. If anything had expected the colour to be more washed out. After thinking about it a little, I figured that more than the distance it was the angle at which I was holding the foldscope in relation to the lamp! The angle must have caused different wavelengths of light to pass through the paper making it seem like the colour of the paper itself was dramatically different.

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