All you need to know about plantable/seed paper for wedding cards.
– What is Plantable paper/Seed Paper?
Plantable Paper is a biodegradable eco-paper/handmade paper that is made with post-consumer paper (no trees harmed for this), which is embedded with seeds.
The paper when planted in potted soil, grows and the paper composts away. What’s left behind are herbs, flowers, fruits or vegetables. They are a literal translation for “Grow Your Love” when used for wedding cards.
- How is seed paper manufactured?
Manufacturing seed paper is a slow and laborious process and is mostly handmade.
All the raw materials used are recycled, be it paper/fibers or cotton. The raw material is first soaked, to make a pulp/paste.
The paste is then carefully mixed with the chosen seeds and distributed evenly on sieves.
This is allowed to air dry, and then finally delicately preset to give an even texture.
The sheets can carry in weights at different places, due to the handmade process.
- What is Plantable paper generally used for?
Plantable paper products are in general used to print plantable wedding cards, thank you cards, wedding/birthday favors etc. They are more convenient in comparison to saplings or potted plants. Also, a square inch of plantable paper will contain several seeds that can contribute to more than 1 plant.
- What are the types of Plantable Paper Seed available in India for printing?
The most widely found seed paper types in India are
- Marigold Seed Paper
- Holy Basil
These are the most favorable seeds for printing wedding cards, as they give you the best texture to work on while printing.
Other types of plantable paper products are available from several manufacturers in the form of seed bombs, seed coins etc.
- How to plant plantable paper?
3 simple steps to plant your paper:
- Cover your plantable paper (wedding cards) and layer it up with soil in a pot that has been prepared for it. spread 1/8th inch layer of soil over the paper. Its ok if the paper overlaps.
- Keep the soil and paper damp at all time. (Damp only, not soaked). The minimum water is necessary for germination.
- Once they have sprouted, keep the soil moist (be careful not to overwater) and give it some sunlight.
- Does the paper come with an expiry date?
Seeds don’t ever expire, they only become dormant after a point in time.
For best germination results, seed paper should be planted within 12-14months. It will still grow beyond that, but the germination rates will decline after that period.
While using seed paper for wedding cards, it is generally recommended to print your cards only 2-3 weeks before you start distributing.
`Don’t forget to ask your paper manufacturer on how soon or how much later the paper can be planted. Your manufacturer will know best, based on the seeds embedded in the paper.
- Can I print on seed paper using a printer?
Printing wedding cards on seed paper using an ink-jet printers is possible, however not recommended for more than a few of the following reasons:
- Handmade seed papers have different thicknesses throughout, as they aren’t passed through flattening rollers beyond a point, as too much compression may cause the seeds to be damaged.
- Uneven paper thickness can result in the papers getting jammed in the printer’s roller bed unless carefully manually fed. This can resultant in a lot of paper.
- Printer’s after a point, generates a lot of heat (general machine tendency), which can further damage the seeds, and may fail to germinate.
- Printer rollers can at times also cause the seeds on the paper to be crushed.
However, if you really have to, you can use a top loading inkjet printer for best results, and ensure that the paper doesn’t bend over itself while feeding (most HP desktop printers do that)
- What is the best method for printing on seed paper?
The recommended method of printing wedding cards on seed paper is Serigraphy (Screen printing).Screen printing when carefully done, gives you clear vibrant colors, and a texture that cannot be compared to anything else.
3-4 color printing using this method is recommended.
In serigraphy, the cards are painstakingly printed by hand one color after another.
- What is serigraphy?
Serigraphy is a printing technique where a silk mesh (Seri-) is used to transfer ink on to the paper, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by blocking those parts. The ink is wiped across the screen to pass through the unblocked pores and reach the substrate.
This causes the ink to wet the paper. The mesh is then pulled out from over the paper/medium and the process is repeated for the next print. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicolored image or design.
- Can I print on seed paper by at home?
You can print at home using an ink-jet printer if there are only a few sheets to be printed. Serigraphy is a very exhaustive process and may be difficult to use at home.
- Why are seed paper wedding cards expensive?
Printing wedding cards on seed cards is a manual, labor intensive process which makes them a little bit more expensive than regular card stock.
Also as explained above, these cards are usually silk screen printed, which is very labor intensive process. A screen needs to be prepared for every color of print used.
All the handmade processes make the entire affair a tad bit more expensive than regular cards, especially when purchased in small quantities.
Having said that, they are still one of the best options for wedding cards, as most wedding cards get thrown away after the event, and what’s a better way to give back to mother earth than this!
Now that you know a lot about Plantable cards, why not head over to Mostly Handmade Plantable wedding card collection?
Mostly Handmade Design is a Bengaluru based Creative Design Studio that specializes in contemporary & minimalistic wedding invites, artisanal floral & ethnic designs, Quirky & Boho wedding card designs and wedding e-cards.
Mostly Handmade brings to you the entire wedding card suite – Cards, Inserts, Gold foils, Hand-made illustrations and a plethora of finishes & trims like belly belts, vellum wraps, personalized wax seals, tags, monograms and more.