Facial tissues are common everyday items everyone seems to have. Given allergies, colds, dust, and other nasal grievances, facial tissues are a necessity. Still, although many people use them, not many people know how facial tissues are manufactured. Read on to learn how this everyday item goes from a wood pulp slurry into the soft, white tissue you’re familiar with.
Preparing the Tissue Paper
- Facial tissue starts with a slurry of raw ingredients: wood, rayon, bagasse, and recycled paper. They go through a large cylindrical tank to soften and break up the fibers. The mixture goes through a mix of water and bleaching agents to whiten and brighten the pulp. Then, the slurry goes through multiple washes to rid it completely of contaminants.
- The pulp goes through specialized machinery to press it into a fabric. The slurry travels across a moving wire mesh where water drains out. The wet fibers carry through a series of woolen felts between several sets of rolls to compress it and remove more water. Then, the sheet goes to the drying stage.
- The wet sheet of tissue paper goes through large industrial dryers where it dries and compresses the material to its desired thickness. This is called the web and requires many rollers and guiding systems. It is then reeled and stacked into large rolls.
Adding Lotions and Other Softeners
- Once the rolls get stacked, they undergo further processing for location and softener applications. Oils and water emulsify in steam-heated batch tanks to form the softening lotion. This mixture is pumped from the batch tanks to a holding vessel.
- The reels of facial tissue feed into papermaking belts where a distribution roller pulls lotion from the batch tanks onto the web. The web continues along the belts to other rolls that remove excess lotion. In the meantime, belt-cleaning showers and cleaning belts remove excess fibers and additives.
- The coated web passes through a cutting station where blades cut it to the desired width. These blades slice the paper further into tissue-sized pieces that get packaged into boxes.