Blotting paper

Blotting paper, sometimes called bibulous paper, is a highly absorbent type of paper or other material. It is used to absorb an excess of liquid substances (such as ink or oil) from the surface of writing paper or objects. Blotting paper referred to as bibulous paper is mainly used in microscopy to remove excess liquids from the slide before viewing. Blotting paper has also been sold as a cosmetic to aid in the removal of skin oils and makeup.

Blotting paper contains no glue and absorbs the ink via the capillary effect. Since students often write with ink fountain pens, the blotter pressed onto the still wet ink serves to accelerate ink drying, thereby preventing smudging of the typeface as well as contamination of hands and clothing. For the production of blotter papers, bleached fibers of cotton linters are used. They are particularly durable (light-resistant), soft and absorbent, but only slightly resilient. For less high-quality blotting paper, up to 50% ground wood pulp of poplar or conifers is added. Blotting paper has the property that it can expand when absorbing moisture. For white blotting paper a chlorine-free bleach is used. Blotting paper is not additionally densified during production and drying. Blotting paper is suitable for removing wax stains from textiles because of its highly absorbent properties.

Blotting paper is made from different materials of varying thickness, softness, etc. depending on the application. It is often made of cotton and manufactured on special paper machines. Blotting paper is reputed to be first referred to in the English language in the 15th century but there is a tradition in Norfolk, England that it was invented by accident at Lyng Mill on the River Wensum.

It is reported that a Berkshire (England) paper mill worker failed to add sizing to a batch of paper that was being produced. The batch was discarded. Subsequently, someone tried to write on a piece of this discarded “scrap” paper and found that it rapidly absorbed any ink applied, making it unusable for writing. Its marked absorbency having been noted, however, led to its subsequently being produced and used as blotting paper, replacing sand, which was the material that had been used for absorbing superficial wet ink. In a time when most paper was produced from “rags”, red/pink rags, from which it was difficult to remove all color and had generally been discarded, were now directed to the production of blotters, hence the historically characteristic pink color of blotters.

A form of blotter paper commonly known as watercolor paper is produced for its absorbent qualities, allowing much better absorption of water and pigments than standard art or drawing papers. Although usually categorized as separate from blotting paper, differences in the constituents and thickness of blotting paper and watercolor paper are subtle, and making a distinction between the two is unnecessary as the production process is nearly identical.

Chemical analyses
Blotting paper is used in chemical analyses as stationary phase in thin-layer chromatography. Blotting paper is also used in pool/spa maintenance to measure pH balance. Small squares of blotting paper attached to disposable plastic strips are impregnated with pH sensitive compounds usually extracted from lichens, especially Roccella tinctoria. These strips are used similarly to litmus strips, however filter paper is usually used for litmus strips, generally to allow for the property of diffusion.

Drugs active in microgram range, most notably LSD, are commonly distributed on blotting paper. A liquid solution of the drug is applied to the blotting paper, which commonly is perforated into individual doses and artfully decorated with what is known as blotter art. Vanity blotter is blotter art that hasn’t been exposed to LSD and is usually sold as a collectible, although inevitably much of this art ends up in illegal distribution. The artwork is printed onto blotter paper and then sometimes perforated into tiny squares or “tabs” which can be torn or cut apart. Most blotter art designs have grid lines as part of the design to either aid in perforation or to be left as a cutting grid. Blotter as a delivery method allows for easy dosing of potent substances and easy sublingual administration of drugs which has made it increasingly popular as a preparation for other potent drugs including 25I-NBOMe and alprazolam.

Plain white LSD blotter without artwork is commonly referred to as WoW (White on White) and is usually not perforated but rather gridded with a pen and sometimes laid on commonly obtained watercolor paper.

Blotting is frequently necessary when using dip pens and occasionally when using fountain pens. This was first done by sprinkling pounce over the wet ink.

When used to remove ink from writings, the writing may appear in reverse on the surface of the blotting paper, a phenomenon which has been used as a plot device in a number of detective stories, such as in the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter.

Blotting papers are also commonly used in cosmetics to absorb excess sebum oil from the face. They are popularly marketed and have been sold by numerous cosmetic brands worldwide such as Mac and Bobbi Brown, as well as UK high street store: Boots UK. Prices for blotting papers can range from as low as $3.00 per packet to as high as $30 or more. More affordable brands can be found by makers such as Clean and Clear and pharmacies such as Walgreens or CVS often carry their own brands for a reduced price.

The papers are often dyed, for wider market appeal, and dusted with salicylic acid and minerals to actively prevent the formation of comedones and acne. However, there is a popular debate of whether blotting papers can help reduce acne by absorbing excess oil, or cause it. The quality of the blotting papers and the use of other ingredients such as mineral oils may be a determining factor.

Writing process: the first three words from above are written with an excess of ink (you can see it sparkling by reflection in some points), which risks slipping or expanding (however staining) when it is time to turn the sheet . The absorbent paper, rolled on these drops of ink, absorbs them, leaving the dry that you see in the fourth writing and allowing you to turn the page.

The writing with the inkwell, or with the nib (also of a fountain pen), is carried out by transferring the liquid ink from its container (inkwell) to the sheet to be imprinted; to this end, the nib dips into the inkwell so that it can be loaded with ink, which will release on the sheet with the writing. Sometimes, however, due to the excess of ink loaded or due to inadequate pressure on the pen when writing) writing is too “rich”, leaving an excessive amount of ink on the written words, and this risks slipping or expanding, staining it when you try to turn page or just tilt the sheet .

For this purpose, the absorbent paper is then rolled onto the paper to be dried (with a continuous roll or with short short passes made with the crescent support). The excess ink therefore leaves the sheet on which it has become excessive and is transferred to the absorbent paper, leaving a moist ink bottom, but fast drying underneath.

The passage of the ink from the sheet to the paper takes place by capillarity and causes a moderate imbibition of the latter, which then becomes dirty with ink depending on the type of passage over the drops. When the contact surface becomes dirty due to the effect of the absorption of the ink, for the subsequent use it is necessary to calibrate the path of the absorbent paper so as to contact parts of the paper not yet saturated (which would not absorb any more), or replace the card.

In the crescent support the paper is inserted on the curved surface that will roll on the sheet, and fixed on the sides by springs or other clamping systems that fix it in tension. The paper may already be prepared in a series of pieces already cut to size and simply overlapped and jointly fixed, or in a continuous strip of suitable width from which the previously used portions are gradually removed.

Blotting paper (also non-woven paper or blotting paper, blotter or absorbent paper ) is an unsized and little pressed paper. Due to this loose construction, it forms fine capillaries that absorb liquids (such as ink) quickly.

Blotting paper is already mentioned in the Orbis sensualium pictus by Johann Amos Comenius, but was also a long time the writing sand (also called stray sand) used. In 1827 there is a description of blotting paper in the Brockhaus Conversation Encyclopedia.

Blotting paper is particularly popular in school, as the makers of exercise books add a loosely inserted sheet of blotter paper to almost every book. In offices and offices occasionally blotting paper scooters or Löwidiegen are in use. The blotting paper has the task of absorbing excess fluids such as ink or printer ink and preventing unwanted blurring. Due to the increased use of pens and roller pens, especially in schools or the direct use of electronic aids such as personal computers, the use of blotter paper is declining.

The coffee filters in use today were originally made from blotting paper.

As a consequence of the invention of the erasure paper, so-called “ink eraser” or “ink weighing” spread in the second half of the 19th century. In the upscale society, they soon became representative desk utensils that more and more displaced the previous sand-blown cans.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, for example, owned a stray sandbox. The brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm also had such cans in use, which can be seen in an exhibition of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in addition to exhibits such as the ink extinguisher of the German Empress Auguste Victoria. Such ink extinguishers consisted of a wooden cradle (semi-circular shape) over which a blotting paper was stretched. The cover plate could be removed to replace the blotter.

The absorbent paper was sometimes “sponsored”, reporting text and advertising symbols thanks to which it was often possible to obtain it for free. A specific collecting market has flourished in these commercial communications on such an advertising vehicle.

The use of blotting paper is quite controversial: The advantage of avoiding blurring still wet ink, the disadvantage is that the ink remains little time to penetrate deep into the paper fiber. However, deep penetration of the ink into the paper fiber is an important prerequisite for the durability of the writing. The permanence of writing may play a minor role in the daily use of ink, but not where documentary authenticity or authenticity plays a role (notaries, lawyers, etc.). The immediate disappearance of signatures, which is often observed in state records, can therefore be described as a ritualized bad habit.