DOST explores use of ‘lapnis’ fibers for paper conservation

Published January 14, 2022, 4:00 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

The possibility of using “lapnis” fibers for paper conservation is now being explored by the Department of Science and Technology-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI).

(The lapnis handmade paper is being tested on damaged paper artifacts. Image courtesy of DOST)

Lapnis, also called paper mulberry, is a type of shrub introduced in the Philippines in 1935 mainly as a reforestation species and a source of fiber.

“Our initial research showed that lapnis’ strength and long fibers make it a good substitute for imported conservation paper,” said Cesar Austria of DOST-FPRDI in a press statement.

DOST said that paper conservation is the “process of restoring and preserving all kinds of important paper-based objects”, including the archival of documents and artworks.

Austria likewise said that further studies will be conducted at the Institute to improve lapnis handmade paper’s color, fiber formation, and clarity to make it free from specks, dirt, or foreign particles.

“The DOST-FRDI now offers training on lapnis handmade paper production. Inquiries may be sent to the Institute’s Training and Manpower Delivery Services Section at [email protected],” DOST added.