In the mid 1940s sadhaks of Sri Aurobindo Ashram prepared handmade paper on a very small scale from waste material as a creative and useful work. In 1959 larger-scale papermaking equipment was installed in a coconut garden – including a beater, lifting vats, and a calendaring machine. The coconut garden is the location of the factory today, in the heart of Pondicherry.
Sourced from the local textile industry, off-cuts of white fine-cotton rag are the main raw material in our handmade paper. The rags are sorted by hand before being cut into finer pieces.
The rags enter our beaters and are turned into a pulp, opening up their fine cotton fibres. Once ready, measured amounts of beaten pulp are hand-poured into the lifting vats to form individual sheets.
Each sheet is hand-lifted, couched on a felt blanket and then pressed, peeled, and hung in our drying rooms at the top of our factory, amongst the coastal breeze.
Once dry, each sheet is placed in between stainless steel plates to be smoothened through the calendaring machine.
Dry, smooth, then cut, the paper is ready for one of many possiblities – marbling, screen printing, packaging, stationery, or sold as is.
Natural, handmade, and filled with the consciousness of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, our paper is distributed worldwide. It has been the feature of museums, hotels, corporates, weddings, art, universities, and archival preservation.