bookbinder

Wheat Paste Instead of PVC Glue

handmade photo albums glue.JPG

Wheat Paste Instead of PVC Glue

Make Your Own Glue

To contribute to a healthier environment, Kitaken is constantly striving to use less plastic materials during the production of handmade photo albums. I bring my own cloth bags when grocery shopping, try to buy less bottled beverages, recycle the Japanese paper that I use, etc. Recently, I’ve taken a further step and decided to make my own wheat paste for adhering paper and for the production of my albums. My own glue making significantly reduces the use of plastics, is non-toxic and it enables me to recycle containers continuously.

I went back to my old bookbinding notes from university and found a great recipe for making glue. This particular glue recipe makes the adhesive flexible and is very forgiving when glueing paper to board. And the best thing is that it’s archival and will not yellow paper over time!

Wheat paste is a great way to contribute to a healthier environment. Wheatpasting is also used to hang up posters for concerts, for collages, papier-mâché, addressing political messages, public murals, etc., etc. Upon further research, I found this great article called A Field Guide to Wheatpasting that delves deeper into the process and they use a similar recipe to mine. Check it out here!

Recipe:

100g wheat starch (approx. four tablespoons)
1 dl cold water

Stir until all clumps are dissolved
Add 1/2 litres of boiling water
Stir vigorously until smooth

The paste should neither be too milky nor glassy
Cover with wet newspaper to avoid skin layer forming

How Kitaken Came To Be...

I was born and raised in California by first generation Japanese parents. Growing up in a Japanese-speaking household, my parents always stressed the importance of keeping in touch with my roots and striving to learn more about Japanese traditions.

As a child, I spent every summer in the Kansai region of Japan, where all of my extended family lives. I was very fortunate to attend Japanese language school and participate in courses such as shodo/shuji (Japanese calligraphy) and tea ceremony (sado or chado) to broaden my knowledge of Japanese culture.