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A scrap or small piece of cloth. In Western papermaking, rag refers to cloth scraps used for pulp. Historically, the preferred rags for papermaking were linen and cotton, but other fabric scraps such as jute, hemp and wool were also used. Recycled cloth scraps obtained from clothing and household furnishings are called old rag. New rag refers to excess cuttings from the textile industry. Rag produces long, cellulose fibers that make a strong durable paper. High proportions of rag pulp were used for artists' papers as well as ledger, blueprint, map, and currency papers. Currently many rag papers actually contain cotton linters instead of rag.

Synonyms and Related Terms

rag pulp

Additional Information

  • D. Hunter, Papermaking – The history and technique of an ancient craft, Dover Publications, New York (1978)

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