Handmade paper has a long and intriguing history. From the early papyrus used for writing in Egypt to the famed paper produced out of the Hollander Loader, handmade paper has been doing the rounds for thousands of years. Here are 9 key historical landmarks.
1. Papyrus – 3500 BCE
Papyrus is a thick, paper-like material that is made from the pith of the papyrus plant Cyperus. It was used for writing in Egypt much before the making of paper in China. Papyrus is created through the lamination of overlapping layers of plant stem. The paper is made from fibres that are completely softened in water before being re-constituted into a flat sheet on a screen.
2. Parchment in Europe & Asia – 2500 BCE
Parchment is made from animal skin such as calfs, sheeps or goats, and is used for writing documents or books. Parchment is limed, scraped and dried under tension. It is not tanned and reacts to changes in humidity, reverting to rawhide if too wet. Vellum refers to calfskin. The earliest