Paper towels are made in a manner very similar to commercial paper, with only a few extra steps. Like paper, the beginning materials are harvested from softwood trees, which produce long and even fibers that can be easily turned into smooth pulp. The bark is removed from the wood, and it is carefully chipped into small pieces, which undergo a churning process with chemical additives. This process dissolve the bonds that the wood fibers formed with each other, separating them out until they become pulp.
This pulp is a mixture of wood particles and water, and can be easily manipulated into a variety of shapes. Cardboard, paper and paper towels are all made from this pulp. But before it can be used for most purposes, it must first be put through several processes to clean and bleach it. Various contaminants and unnecessary particles are removed from the mixture, it is filtered through screeners to make sure the pulp is as fine as it can be, and a bleaching solution is used to whiten it. The pulp is then put through several more machines designed to make it into paper. It's combined with a resin that causes the fibers to bond to each other once again, and then the pulp is rolled out into very thin layers so that when it does bond, it will be in the shape of paper. This paper is then run through more rollers that heat and dry it. This is the process used to create nearly every type of paper, while paper towels go through several more steps.
Bonding Paper Towels
The paper used to create paper towels is not pressed as hard as other types of paper products to give it a gentle, softer texture. Two of these soft layers of paper are then carefully bonded together to form one sheet, usually with some type of light, harmless glue. At the same time, the layers are embossed so that small pockets of air are trapped within the sheets. These pockets help to absorb water, and the absorption qualities of the paper towel depend on the type of fibers used and how the sheets are embossed. Paper towels are available in both one- and two-ply varieties. The two-ply variety is made of two different sheets that have been bonded together, while single-ply varieties have only one of the sheets made as described above. When it comes to the strength of paper towels, the most important factor is their composition, how the pulp has been bound together and what kind of resin has been used to do it.
About the Author
Tyler Lacoma has worked as a writer and editor for several years after graduating from George Fox University with a degree in business management and writing/literature. He works on business and technology topics for clients such as Obsessable, EBSCO, Drop.io, The TAC Group, Anaxos, Dynamic Page Solutions and others, specializing in ecology, marketing and modern trends.