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關於紙

Updated: Dec 7, 2018




作為紀錄留存文化光輝的角色--紙張,在中國發明與進展,已有兩千年的歷史。談到紙的發明過去一般人都根據范瞱後漢書的記載,認定蔡倫是造紙技術的發明人。但近半個多世紀以來,關於造紙的年代,又有了新發現,例如,在新疆、蒙古、西安、甘肅、都有古紙碎片的發現,其中以西安灞橋紙為最早,是公元前二世紀的遺物,時當西漢武帝時期,比蔡倫於西元一○五年向東漢和帝獻紙之時,要早了二、三百年。


從現有史料及實物證明,中國確是最早發明造紙技術的國家,而蔡倫的重要性,在於總結了前人的生產經驗,使用植物纖維為原料而開拓出新的領域,將這巷項民間的造紙工藝,提昇的更加科學與完善。


這項在中國發展了近兩千年的手工造紙技術,綿延至今日,仍然留存了古法的製造流程。造紙原理,簡研之,就是一種纖維的重組技術,不同的纖維,形成不同的紙張而纖維的取得,則來自於原料。手工造紙的主要原料,可分為木質漿類,與草本漿類、木質漿類包括屬針葉樹的長纖維木漿、屬闊葉樹的短纖維木漿、竹漿、雁樹皮,鹿仔樹皮、桑樹皮等;而草本漿類則來自馬尼拉麻、稻草、麥桿、蔗渣、蘆葦等草本植物。不論是木質漿或是草本漿,份量比例調成後,需經過「打漿」的程序,其作用在於分解纖維,讓將來抄出來的紙張不致出現成塊或成片的凝結物,同時,藉此清洗化學劑的殘留。另外一些些視情況所需的添加物,也在這時加入,譬如,加入化學黏劑,主要在使纖維的均佈獲得充裕的時間;加入硫酸鋁及松香皂,會使紙張產生抗水性,此即所謂的「熟宣」;加入色料,生產出來便是「色宣」。當原料、添加物完全混合備妥,這一大桶的紙漿,便是千百張紙的原貌了,而紙的「出生」,必需藉著師父的手抄,才能形成。抄紙的工具,是一張細竹箴編製成的竹篩,竹篩嵌合在方形木框中,當師父將竹篩浸入紙漿中再抄起時,透過雙手的擺盪,水份從竹篩縫隙中瀝去,紙漿纖維則平均地分佈在竹篩上,一張紙便這樣形成了。此時的紙張還大量含水,安置一夜讓他自然滴水後,必需再經過壓榨,處理掉多餘的水份。壓榨速度與輕重的拿捏,端賴長久的工作經驗,否則,速度過急或使力過猛,都容意引起紙張的斷裂。壓榨之後,進行烘紙,將一張張半乾的紙平鋪在鐵板平台上,利用蒸汽間接加熱,溫度大約在100°C左右,以棕刷排去空氣使紙平整,全乾之後再行裁邊,就是可用來書寫、繪畫的宣紙或棉紙了。造紙工業首重水質,因為如果水質不良,殘留礦物質如石灰、鐵太多,會影響紙的壽命與潔白度、而且在經時間或日光照射後,容易變黃、朽爛。

埔里因水質純淨,非常適合紙業發展,鼎盛時期曾高達四十家造紙廠在此並立,成為宣紙、棉紙最大宗的生產地。而手工紙與機器紙的不同,在於手抄過程中,因為雙手的擺盪使得纖維交叉產生橫、直結構,所以不易受濕氣影響而捲縮或變形。然而手工造紙必經是辛苦的行業,冬天裡,抄紙師父的雙手全天候浸泡在只有五度的水溫中工作,炎熱的夏日,烘紙的鐵板平台邊是高達四十度的室溫,置身其間揮汗工作,辛勞可想而知。一張紙的生成,是許多過程中心力和汗水的投注,我們在使用的時候,怎可不善加珍惜呢?

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