This article’s lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Papier-mâché with the strips method for the creation of a pig. Two main methods are used to prepare papier-mâché. The first method makes use of paper strips glued together with adhesive, and the other uses paper pulp papier mâché PDF by soaking or boiling paper to which glue is then added.
With the first method, a form for support is needed on which to glue the paper strips. With the second method, it is possible to shape the pulp directly inside the desired form. In both methods, reinforcements with wire, chicken wire, lightweight shapes, balloons or textiles may be needed. The traditional method of making papier-mâché adhesive is to use a mixture of water and flour or other starch, mixed to the consistency of heavy cream. For the paper strips method, the paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the paste until saturated. The saturated pieces are then placed onto the surface and allowed to dry slowly.
The strips may be placed on an armature, or skeleton, often of wire mesh over a structural frame, or they can be placed on an object to create a cast. Oil or grease can be used as a release agent if needed. For the pulp method, the paper is left in water at least overnight to soak, or boiled in abundant water until the paper dissolves in a pulp. The excess water is drained, an adhesive is added and the papier-mâché applied to a form or, especially for smaller or simpler objects, sculpted to shape.
In ancient Egypt, coffins and death masks were often made from cartonnage—layers of papyrus or linen covered with plaster. In Persia, papier-mâché has been used to manufacture small painted boxes, trays, étagères and cases. Japan and China also produced laminated paper articles using papier-mâché. In Japan and India, papier-mâché was used to add decorative elements to armor and shields. In Kashmir as in Persia, papier-mâché has been used to manufacture small painted boxes, bowls lined with metals, trays, étagères and cases. It remains highly marketed in India and is a part of the luxury ornamental handicraft market.
Starting around 1725 in Europe, gilded papier-mâché began to appear as a low-cost alternative to similarly treated plaster or carved wood in architecture. Papier-mâché has been used for doll heads starting as early as 1540, molded in two parts from a mixture of paper pulp, clay, and plaster, and then glued together, with the head then smoothed, painted and varnished. Cartonería or papier-mâché sculptures are a traditional handcraft in Mexico. The invention of the continuous sheet paper machine allows paper sheets to be made of any length, and this made an ideal material for building a seamless boat hull. Creating papier-mâché masks is common among elementary school children and craft lovers.
Either one’s own face or a balloon can be used as a mold. This is common during Halloween time as a facial mask complements the costume. Papier-mâché panels were used in the late 19th century and early 20th century to produce lightweight domes, used primarily for observatories. Papier-mâché was used in a number of firearms as a material to form sabots.
Despite the extremely high pressures and temperatures in the bore of a firearm, papier-mâché proved strong enough to contain the pressure, and push a sub-caliber projectile out of the barrel with a high degree of accuracy. With modern plastics and composites taking over the decorative and structural roles that papier-mâché played in the past, papier-mâché has become less of a commercial product. There are exceptions, such as Micarta, a modern paper composite, and traditional applications such as the piñata. Papier-mâché is commonly used for large, temporary sculptures such as Carnival floats. A basic structure of wood, metal and metal wire mesh, such as poultry netting, is covered in papier-mâché.