AbstractAn approach is demonstrated for the manufacturing of a microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) composite paper. A key element in the manufacturing paradigm is the use of high consistency suspensions to improve retention and minimize the need for water removal after forming. The rheological characterization of the composite furnish, which contained 70% structured pigment, 20% MFC, and 10% pulp fibers, revealed a gel-like shear thinning behavior of the suspension, which differs greatly from traditional fiber-based papermaking furnishes. The results from laboratory and pilot scale studies show that the headbox consistency range from 5 to 10% offers the best combination of processing, forming characteristics, retention, and dewatering. While the furnish dewatering in laboratory scale was very problematic, under suitable dynamic conditions the wire section dewatering was excellent. The results of this study suggest that the MFC composite can be manufactured on a modified paper machine and that the final product will have an attractive cost structure.