The making of paper starts with the collection and processing of the dung pulp. Elephant dung is typically full of short to medium grained fibrous materials from the elephant's diet which when processed make excellent paper. Panda poo has lots of undigested bamboo fibers (also a great fiber for paper-making). And cows and horses have a lot of undigested grass in their poo!
First, the naturally dried dung is collected from elephant and Giant Panda conservation parks and brought back to the paper-making factory.
Next, the dung is pre-rinsed with water, leaving only the fibrous materials from the grasses, bamboo and fruits they've eaten.
The fibers are placed into a giant pot of boiling water to ensure the fibers are super clean. After this thorough cleaning, the desired color can be added.
Natural fibers from banana trees and pineapples are added to the dung mixture so the paper will be thicker and stronger.
Once this is all mixed together, the moist fibers are separated into small "cakes" or "wafers" of about 300-400 grams each.
The cakes are spread evenly over a mesh-bottomed tray measuring about 60cm by 90cm.
The tray is leaned up against a tree, angled toward the sun and allowed to dry naturally for a few hours.
Once dry, the sheet of paper is peeled from the mesh tray.
Courtesy of The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company.