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Our handmade paper production workshop uses more than a hundred-year-old machines purchased from the paper factory Vevče. This way a more than 400-year-old craft has been awoken and further reinvented by designing innovative products. The PAPLAB workshop works under the wing of JP VOKA SNAGA, whose premises are a stone’s throw away from the JP VOKA SNAGA collection centre at Povšetova ulica 6. The workshop emerged as a part of the European project APPLAUSE for which the financial resources had been granted.



Maja v papirni delavnici PapLab meša papirno kašo

In the handmade paper production workshop, a unique collection of products is crafted from Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), cellulose and cotton. All paper products are made in accordance with key characteristics of handmade paper and are an environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The procedure of handmade paper production is demonstrated to public at creative educational gatherings, organised at the workshop.

While examining characteristics of Japanese knotweed biomass that serves as a base material for handmade paper production and designing simple paper products, the participants get acquainted with the practical value and usability of invasive plants and see yet undiscovered potentials of this handicraft.

Revival of the workshop has opened new green working positions, while its activity takes into consideration the sustainability factor and presents itself as an example of circular economy in Ljubljana.

Our vision and values
PapLab grb


Our main product is handmade paper, custom-made and available in various formats, colours and grammage.  Its distinctive characteristic is natural, uneven and feathery edges.

The handmade paper is made from Japanese knotweed, cellulose and cotton that can be, in line with a client’s wishes, adorned with various seeds, flowers, flax, tobacco, hay, (spruce) needles, grass blades, glitter and sequins.

We also offer design and print in various colours, blind print, gold print and watermark application.

Alongside with the products available at our online shop, we produce custom-made items such as small boxes, bookmarks, various recognition documents and business or greetings cards, to name but a few.

Key steps


  1. Collecting raw material: Raw material is first collected (i.e. Japanese knotweed)
  2. Grinding raw material: Raw material is ground into wood chips
  3. Wood chips cooking: Wood chips are mixed with chemicals and cooked at a high temperature. The process, where lignin and resin turn into a water-soluble form and can be removed by washing, is called delignification.
  4. Wood chips defibration: Mechanical defibration is carried out in the Holland grindstones where the fibre shorten and become more refined.
  5. Removing paper pulp: Paper pulp is removed and poured into a manufacturing bath.
  6. Adding sizing agent: A sizing agent that balances paper absorption is added. Water is added as well. At this stage of the procedure, the paper pulp might be dyed. The ratio between water and paper pulp determines thickness of paper.
  7. Paper pulp scooping: The paper pulp is scooped with a sieve whose frame determines the shape of paper. When the excess water is expelled through a dense mesh, the paper sheet is printed on a felt cloth – a procedure called gavčanje.
  8. Extracting water: A hydraulic press is used to expel about 70% water from the paper sheets.
  9. Selecting handmade paper: The handmade paper is carefully removed from the felt base and then put into a drying room to dry on a mesh covered with felt.
  10. Paper smoothing: Only completely dry paper can be smoothed out. A mechanical paper-smoothing machine consists of two cylinders stacked on top of each other that smooth and stretch out any fibre that creased during the process of drying.
  11. Dry pressing: If necessary, a manual press is used to dry and straighten newly made paper for further three days.

Postopek ročne izdelave papirja iz japonskega dresnika 1. Nabiranje surovine za papir, torej japonskega dresnika. 2. Mletje surovine na sekance. 3. Kuhanje sekancev pri visoki temperaturi in dodajanje kemikalij. V tem procesu, imenovanem delignifikacija, se lignin in smole pretvorijo v vodotopno obliko in se nato s spiranjem odstranijo. 4. Mehansko razvlaknjevanje v holandskem mlinu, kjer se vlaknine razvlaknijo in skrajšajo. 5. Odlivanje papirne kaše iz holandskega mlina v izdelovalno kad. 6. Dodajanje klejiva, ki uravnava vpojnost papirja, ter dodajanje željene količine vode. V tem delu postopka lahko papirno kašo po želji tudi obarvamo. Razmerje med vodo in papirno kašo vpliva na željeno debelino papirja. 7. Zajemanje papirne kaše s sitom, na katerem je oblikovalni okvir, ki določa obliko papirnega lista. Ko skozi gosto mrežo odteče odvečna voda, list odtisnemo na pripravljeno krpo iz volnenega filca – postopek imenujemo gavčanje. 8. Iztiskanje vode v hidravlični preši, kjer iz listov odteče približno 70% vode. 9. Odbiranje listov papirja iz filcev ter odlaganje v sušilnico, kjer se sušijo na mrežah, prekritih s suhimi filci. 10. Glajenje popolnoma suhega papirja. Strojni gladilnik je sestavljen iz dveh valjev, ki sta nameščena drug nad drugega. S tem postopkom se razvlečejo in razporedijo vlakna, ki so se med sušenjem nagubala. 11. Po potrebi še suho prešanje v ročni stiskalnici, v kateri se papir ravna še dodatne tri dni.


Create, recycle and make your own paper!

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What are the key advantages and unique distinctive characteristics of handmade paper?

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