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Making Blue Touchpaper

Light Blue Touch Paper and retire immediately it used to say on all the old fireworks! Most modern fireworks use a plastic igniter cord. This is much harder to light (although produces a stronger flame). I still like the old touch paper and it has the advantage of being very easy to make! you will need:

  1. A strong solution of potassum nitrate in water.
  2. Some blue tissue paper (other colours work too!
  3. A shallow dish the size of your tissue paper
  4. An improvised washing line.

Put your potassium nitrate solution in a shallow tray (this is a photographic developing dish). Cut a piece of tissue and drop it in the solution, make sure it sinks - leave for a few seconds until it is saturated.

Take the paper out of the solution, let the excess liquid drip off. Then hang it over your washing line (in my case string and nails!). Try to arrange it so it does not stick to itself. Leave until completely dry - probably a day or so.

You may find as I did that the dye comes out of the paper and colours ou stock solution - this does not seem to affect the process.

That's it! Cut your touch-paper to size - allow enough to make a couple of turns around the firework and stick the lower part in place with PVA or gummed tape. Put a little priming composition inside and twist the top to close it. Job done!

Store your touch paper in a sealed box. It lights very easily from the smallest of sparks and a pile of it all catching at once would make quite a fire...

This picture shows some being used to fuse a jumping jack in the traditioal way.