I am always being shown new things at Liberty Paper Mill. Claudia has so many samples and she is always willing to decode the process it took to make them and take time to show me how it's done. Last week she showed me some paper that had been spun into yarn --a Japanese technique called Shifu-- and I was able to try it the other day.
I chose a tough green Japanese paper. Claudia showed me how to fold and cut the paper where the ends were still stuck together but the paper was essentially cut into 1/4" ribbons. Then the fabric is broken apart into a long strip which you can twist. She showed me how to spin it off the point of a bobbin winder. This way it becomes tighter. If done while the paper is a little damp, it becomes permanently twisted when it dries (like the tightly spun yarn on the right of the photo).
What I love about processes like this is how they can be another tool in the toolbox. I can never really tell what will be useful to me in my work, and some things pop up as the perfect solution. I have plenty of sheets of Japanese paper that didn't turn out (still practicing that process, more update on that later) and spinning them could be a great way to recycle the bad sheets.