So you have come here wondering what on earth a Deckle Edge is, or maybe you have heard of a Deckle Edge and are wondering how you can create a Deckle Edge for yourself.
What is a Deckle Edge?
A Deckle Edge is a ragged edge on paper. Before the 19th Century and the advent of the Fourdrinier paper making machine, all paper made had a Deckle Edge. This edge was often cut off when the paper was cut to size. Occasionally this Deckle Edge would be left for decorative purposes.
The name Deckle Edge comes from the name of the frame used in manual paper-making - a Deckle.
How Do I Get A Deckle Edge?
Some paper manufacturers sell paper with a Deckle Edge such as Hahnemühle. These papers are incredibly expensive to buy. You can see pre-made Deckle Edge finish papers that we have available from GDS HERE.
However, it is much cheaper and way more fun to create your own Deckle Edge paper for a truly custom finish.
How To Choose Your Paper
Paper selection is always subjective, but the following will act as a guide to help you choose the best paper for what you are trying to achieve.
Paper which is 'softer' and less stiff such as cotton papers will generally give you more of a feathery edge finish. This kind of finish is closer to a true traditional Deckle Edge. Thicker, stiffer paper such as those made from wood pulp will still give you a Deckle Edge, but the finish will be different to that of the softer papers.
At the end of the day it is all down to your personal preferences and what finished effect you are trying to achieve as to what is the best paper for your needs.
What Do I Need?
The easiest way to create your own Deckle Edge is with the use of a Deckle Edge Ripper.
It is best to create the Deckle Edge on table with a square edge. This allows you to rest the Deckle Edge ripper up to the edge of the table, with the paper that is to be torn hanging over the edge.
How To Create The Deckle
You can create you Deckle Edge with the paper facing up, or with the paper facing down. Each way will give you slightly different results. If you tear with the image facing up (as most people do), you will get an interesting white reveal on your edge. If you tear with the image facing down your image will run right up to the tear.
There’s a certain knack to getting the right ‘pull’ to create your deckle edge. The trick is to pull up towards you, as well as slightly into the deckle edge ripper as you hold it down. This will give you results that look most like the edge of the Deckle Edge Ripper. Feel free to experiment with different pulling techniques as you’ll achieve slightly different results.
How To Display the Finished Image
If you’ve gone to the effort of creating a gorgeous deckle edge, you better had show it off! We’d suggest either mounting your image on a dark or black background, or using a shadow box frame and float framing your finished masterpiece.
And that’s how easy it is to create a Deckle Edge finish on your images!