Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to get wrinkles out of paper

Paper is made up of a delicate layer of fibers that can easily be torn or wrinkled. While we do our best to package our papers (which are of the highest quality) with safely, sometimes they will get a little wrinkle in them. Good news! Just as with fabrics made from cotton, wool or synthetic fibers, paper can be repaired. To remove wrinkles from paper, simply use the same techniques you would for removing wrinkles from clothes, but take greater care, so as not to damage this fragile material.

Pressing : Place the wrinkled paper on a clean, hard surface, such as a mirror, table or smooth countertop. With a lightly damp kitchen towel, apply dabs of clean water to the wrinkled area of the paper. A spray bottle set at a fine mist will work, too. Just be sure to mist the paper from a distance, so that only a small amount of water settles on the paper. 
Water relaxes the fibers in the paper, but you don't want to over do it and cause the paper to disintegrate or warp. Tap water will stain the paper if it has a high mineral content or is rusty. If this is the case with your tap water, use bottled water, preferably distilled water.
After moistening the creases, place the paper between two flat surfaces, such as two books or two pieces of clean wood. Leave the paper to dry for a day or two. When you return, the paper should be restored to an unwrinkled state.

Steaming: If the wrinkles are stubborn, try spreading the paper out on a dry, flat surface in the bathroom (outside of the tub or shower). 
Shut all the windows and doors to the room and run a hot shower. The room will fill with steam, relaxing the paper fibers. After 10 minutes or so, turn off the shower and move the paper to another room. Press the paper between two hard, flat objects until dry.

Ironing: Ironing wrinkles out of paper works well too, but be careful not to scorch the paper (too much heat will yellow the paper or burn it). We iron paper a lot as it is the quickest option. First, lay the paper on a hard surface and relax the creases with a small amount of clean water as described above. I like to slightly wet a paper towel then wring the water out of it so that it is evenly damp.Warm an iron to the lowest setting. Then, place a lightly damp cloth over the paper to protect it from the heat of the iron. (It's a good idea to iron another piece of paper as a test first and adjust the heat if necessary.)
Lightly run the iron over the wrinkles in your paper. This will relax the fibers in those areas so it might be best to iron the whole sheet so it relaxes evenly. Do not let the iron stay on the paper for any length of time. Keep it moving. When finished, move the paper to a flat surface to cool. You can also press it after this point, for good measure.

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