Here are some tips on working with mesh, weave and fibrous papers. Don’t be intimidated by the uniqueness of heavily fibered papers and meshes. Experiment, rip, tear, cut, fold, crease, distress and have some fun.
Mesh, Weave and Fibrous Papers
- Fiber papers can be scissor or craft knife cut, punched, ripped and water cut (using a brush or waterbrush, you draw a line of water where you want to cut and then gently tear the paper).
- Mesh papers must be cut with scissors or a sharp craft knife.
- Although usually colorfast, it’s best to test any of these papers before using in collage or decoupage where the paper will get saturated with glue.
- To test the colorfastness of any paper all you need to do is cut a small piece of the paper and lay it down on a clean white sheet of paper. Saturated the test paper with water or glue and then wipe with a clean white paper towel. If you see any color bleeding you’ll know the paper is not colorfast.
- Sew these types of papers with a small sharp needle. Needles will dull quickly and a quick wipe with beeswax or bead thread conditioner will help the needle glide smoothly through the paper. You can also pre-punch your holes with a sharp needle tool.
- Store this paper flat and if possible with an even weight over it to prevent unwanted curling or warping. If you’d like a little curl to the paper this can be done with warmth such as a curling iron on low, light flow from a hair dryer, or wrapping the paper around a round object, dampen the paper lightly, and allow to dry.
- Running mesh paper through a Xyron can give you an even, light spread of adhesive. Just make sure you really rub down the adhesive before removing the paper backing and use a glue remover pad to remove any adhesive that might come through the open weaves.
- These papers were born to be layers with other papers. Mix and match weights, textures and colors. The loose weave meshes look wonderful when you intertwine coordinating fibers, ribbons, and threads through the open sections.
- Just about any type of glue can be used with fibrous, open weave and mesh papers. Since most of these papers have little body solid glues (tapes, dots) and thin-bodied paper glues are best avoiding hard glues like glue sticks and hot glues. You can also adhere these papers with brads, eyelets, ribbon, and threads.