Original writing paper, developed by
MD PAPER PRODUCTS since the 1960s,
makes a unique sound when you write.
In the course of everyday life, there are often things that we want to jot down.
In order to create paper that never changes for the many people that always feel this way, there are some things we have to continue to protect. Those are the machines and processes, as well as the eyes, hands, and thoughts, of the people who create MD Paper.
Here we will introduce some of the various processes we use to achieve the finest in writing comfort.
Paper with the desired texture is born from various kinds of pulp.
Our plant has a site area nearly three times that of the Tokyo Dome sports stadium. Occupying one section of the plant is a large warehouse that stores the pulp sheets that are the raw material of paper. The raw material of the pulp itself is wood, and the finished paper’s texture and hardness will differ depending on the type of wood used.
The pulp used in MD Paper is made from broad-leaved trees. Compared to conifers that result in hard, inflexible paper, broad-leaved trees provide for a finish with a smooth texture.
First, the pulp is broken up in water.
To achieve the all-important color and refinement, the condition of the water is key.
Water plays a very important role in the production of paper. Here we use water with a high degree of purity that has been pumped from the river and filtered, but since it is natural water, the viscosity changes with the season. If we don’t adjust the refining method to the water quality of that time, the finish of the paper will change.
Did you notice that after the pulp was broken up, it has taken on a slightly yellowish tint?
Actually, coloring is performed simultaneously with the previous process. The unique skin color of MD Paper is born through this delicate work where even the slightest difference is not permitted. The bonded fibers are refined, and after they have been softened they take on a consistency just like Japanese rice porridge known as okayu.
Next, we enter into the paper-making process. You may have seen a picture of the process when traditional Japanese paper known as washi is made, but the water that contains the paper material is scooped up with a sieve-like tool known as a sugeta. Then the sugeta is swung left and right so that the material is applied evenly across the frame.
In the same way, the pulp that forms the paper is spread out thoroughly and then run over a wire that revolves at high speed.
The paper is finished after going through processes that all rely on people’s eyes, hands, and memories.
Once moisture has been extracted to a certain extent, the raw material of the paper is heated and dried. Then the surface is flattened with a calendar and rolled, and after being cut into smaller sheets the paper is complete for the present.
The paper that is produced is seen, felt, and compared numerous times by inspectors who check to see whether or not it has sufficient quality to be brought to our customers.
If there is a compromise in any one process, the paper will turn out completely differently. Though the process of making paper is now complete, there is still some tension.
The items we offer our customers are only those that have passed the most rigorous inspection.
Once MD Paper is completed, it is inspected at the factory. Even as the inspection takes place the machines continue to revolve at high speed, so if the batch fails to reach the required standard everything would have to be discarded. This is the most nerve-wracking moment for people at the factory.
Inspection begins by assessing thickness, weight and color. The most time-consuming inspection is the writing properties test. A variety of different writing implements are used to write or draw letters and lines repeatedly.
This test is done to check for quality, including ink smearing, drying speed and to ensure there is no bleed-through. It is also done to confirm the writing feel of how the pen glides or catches on the paper, and to inspect texture, including touch and feel. Only paper that has passed all these inspections is given the name MD Paper and delivered to our customers as an MD Paper product.