It is an incredibly simple process. This came about because I could not find good water color paper to learn on and work with.
What I love about this is that the banana stalk is basically garbage or compost once the plant has produced the fruit after its short life span. What makes me sad it that other farmers and their families could make this paper, make more money and help stop the chopping of trees down to make paper.
We all know that the trees that are used to make paper take many years to reproduce and the whole process harms the environment greatly. Another thing that is sad for me is that I have to find a solid way to make the paper white, naturally..... if you have any ideas let me know. I was trying to get a hold of more hydrogen peroxide but to get the paper white is difficult, it comes more blonde which is lovely but not for all painting. It is also highly fibrous, but that is apart of the charm. Australia and Africa are starting to create more paper from banana as they are interested in sustainability and the banana plant is a good answer. You can youtube this!
Anyway this is the process summed up. Chop up the banana stalk or leave into small pieces (this is so easy it is like cutting styrofoam), cook it up for a couple of hours to tenderize, put bits in the blender add whitening agent, or add torn up bits of soaked recycled paper and blend up with the banana. Pour mash over screen in a water bath, make sure it is even by swishing it around. Lift the screen with mash out of the water level, with a piece of material over top sponge out water, turn over,remove screen put piece of material over top, sponge out more water, you can use rolling pin to carefully remove more water and make the paper even. Set over screen to dry. Often when drying the paper would shift and warp, so I used my iron with material between to level it out and also put under 2 pieces of tile to dry level. This process is not hard just time consuming.
Love this paper!