Thursday, March 20, 2008

A brief history of paper

Wired reports: [edited]

The first Chinese paper was probably made from a mash of sodden hemp waste, beaten to a pulp and stretched over a cloth sieve in a bamboo frame. The pulp was made from bamboo fibers and the inner bark of the mulberry tree.

Further Chinese advances in papermaking included a quick-release mould to improve the speed of production, the use of starch as sizing (filler or glaze) and a combination yellow dye and insect repellent.

Papermaking was a secret process until it spread to Korea in the sixth century, and then to Japan in the seventh. The technology spread to Tibet and Central Asia.

Arabs captured some Chinese papermakers in 751. Arab scholars preferred linen paper to the sheepskin or calfskin parchment that was then in use.

The first paper mill in Europe was built in 1150.

No comments: