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Specialty hemp-based paper is breakthrough for digital printing

The Hahnemühle factory, Dassel, Germany. The company dates to 1584. (Photo: Maren Krings)
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A German papermaker has developed a hemp paper for books and brochures produced on digital printing systems.

The specially designed hybrid, uncoated paper, from legacy paper company Hahnemühle, Dassel, Germany, was developed exclusively for printing the book “H is for HEMP” by photographer and climate impact storyteller Maren Krings, to be published in April 2022.

“It is the first paper made from sustainable hemp fibers grown in Europe for environmentally conscious print products,” said Heidemarie Hinger, Product and Business Development Manager at Hahnemühle.

Closing a loop

The new hemp paper is produced with pure spring water, which Hahnemühle has used since its founding at the company’s sole production facility on a natural reserve in Saxony, in north-central Germany. The water is fed into the nearby river after passing through a largely closed processing system that is free from chemical cleaning agents, biocides or preservatives. The energy used for manufacturing comes exclusively from 100% renewable sources.

Hahnemühle Hemp digital printing paper features an inimitable structure the result of wool felts directly used in the production process, is vegan, and acid-free, therefore highly resistant to aging. It is available in two grammages as cover and inside paper in 280gsm and 80gsm, respectively. The new paper is offered in up to 50-inch (127cm) rolls.

The new hemp paper is designed for high-speed inkjet, analog offset and other flexible digital printing systems. Hinger said the paper, which was inspired by Krings’ project, meets high standards in the rendering of text and images.

“Hahnemühle’s hemp paper exceeded my expectations, offering a beautiful tactile and sensory experience and giving the book a fresh and completely new look,” Krings said. “At the same time, it closes the loop of protecting native forests and finding alternative raw materials for paper making.”

Since 1584

Founded in 1584 as a maker of handmade writing paper, Hahnemühle later added art paper and, in more recent times, papers for digital fine art printing, to complement its stationary portfolio. Hahnemühle is the inventor and world market leader in digital fine art papers for exclusive photo prints and art reproductions. The company has subsidiaries in the UK, France, the USA, Singapore and China.

Hahnemühle has been supporting both regional and international environmental protection projects since 2008 through its “Green Rooster” initiative, which supports reforestation, animal welfare and environmental education programs.

Krings’ book captures the contemporary culture of industrial hemp through a compilation of photos and stories presented in encyclopedia form, illuminating the potential of industrial hemp to drive economic development while at the same time addressing the critical mission to reverse climate change.

Sample pages from the upcoming book “H is for Hemp”; Get updates

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