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History of paper part 1

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History of paper part 1

Post by admin on 2010-11-27, 09:57

When choosing your paper, have you ever though about how it got here? How did this essential part of our craft make it's way through the ages to our craft tables? here is some information I have gathered from some sites just to give you some back ground for interest sake then I will get another post for you on how to make your own paper

History of paper
The history of paper began in Ancient Egypt approx. 3,700 BC – 3,200 BC with the use of papyrus as a medium for written records, a considerable advance over the technique employed by the Sumerians of writing on clay tablets. The word "paper" is etymologically derived from papyros, Ancient Greek for the Cyperus papyrus. Most western books in the middle ages were made of parchment, derived from animal hides.

These woodblock prints show some of the six major stages in paper making, recorded in a seventeenth-century Chinese book. China was the first country in the world to make proper paper. Paper made during the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-16 AD) has been found in many Provinces.
Early paper was made from tougher fibers than is used in modern paper, so it could be used as clothing, curtains, bedding and even shoes. Eastern Han Dynasty paper found in Wuwei, Gansu, in 1974 carried words which were still decipherable. Thin, soft, and with a smooth finish and tight texture, this paper is the most refined and oldest paper discovered in the world to date.
Paper spread slowly outside of China. Other East Asian cultures, even after seeing paper, could not make it themselves. Instruction in the manufacturing process was required, and the Chinese were reluctant to share their secrets. The paper was thin and translucent, not like modern western paper, and thus only written on one side. The technology was first transferred to Goguryeo, Korea in 604 and then imported to Japan by Buddhist priests, around 610, where fibres from the mulberry tree were used.
Paper remained expensive through the centuries, until the advent of steam-driven paper making machines in the 19th century, which could make paper with fibres from wood pulp. Although older machines pre-dated it, the Fourdrinier paper making machine became the basis for most modern paper making.

How is Paper Made today?

If you really want to know about paper and papermaking, you've got to get to know trees. Just look at a tree trunk. The bark protects the inner wood from weather, insects and other dangers. Just inside the bark is a thin layer called the cambium, whose cells become both bark and inner wood. Next is sapwood, which carries nourishing sap throughout the tree the same way our blood flows through our bodies to nourish us. Heartwood is the innermost part of the trunk, and even though it isn't alive, it provides the tree with strength and structure.

All that wood material is formed of fibers, tiny cellulose strands stuck together with a natural adhesive material called lignin. It's by separating and reorganizing those fibers that we make paper.

Some paper is made brand-new from trees - either small trees harvested just for that purpose, or from sawmill scraps left over when larger trees are made into lumber. A second source of papermaking material is recycled fiber. Each year, more and more paper is recycled - its fibers used a second, third or fourth time. Every year, about 50% of the paper use is recovered for recycling and other uses.

Almost all of the paper you use today is made of wood fibers. Some specialty papers, like stationery and money, are made from linen, cotton, or other plants. Other papers contain a combination of cellulose fibers and synthetics such as latex. Still others are made completely from synthetic materials such as polyolefine. But you'll find natural fiber paper almost everywhere!

The basic recipe - wood, water and energy - is adjusted to make just the paper that's needed.

First, workers harvest trees, the logs are transported to the paper company where they get a bath to rinse away dirt and other impurities before being turned into small chips of wood. The chips are then sorted according to size, and moved to the pulping operation, where they will be turned into pulp for making paper.

In the pulping stage, the individual wood fibers in the chips must be separated from one another. The type of paper that's being made determines the pulping process that is used. The finished pulp looks like a mushy, watery solution.

Now it's time to make paper out of our pulp. First, paper makers spray the stock onto a long, wide screen, called a wire. Immediately, water begins to drain out the bottom of the wire. Meanwhile, the pulp fibers are caught on the top side of the wire, and begin to bond together in a very thin mat. The fiber mat remaining on the wire is then squeezed between felt-covered press rollers to absorb more of the water.

Even when this wet end work is over, the pulpy stuff on the wire is still about 60% water. But now it's time for the dry end. In the dry end, huge metal cylinders are heated by filling them with steam. The wet paper, which can be up to 30 feet wide, passes through these hot rollers - sometimes dozens of them, heating and drying the wet sheet seals the fibers closer and closer together, turning them gradually from pulp into paper.

When you look at a piece of paper, can you find any difference in thickness in that single sheet? Probably not, thanks to a part of the paper machine called the calender - big, heavy cast iron rollers that press the drying paper smooth and uniform in thickness.

Sometimes the paper is coated, often with fine clay, to make it glossier and easier to print on.

A bit more drying, then rolled onto a big spool or reel, the pulp - a miraculous mat of fibers from trees - has become paper, ready for a thousand uses.


Information from Wiki and the paper university

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Re: History of paper part 1

Post by paulahogue on 2010-11-27, 16:31

very interesting, thanks for sharing with us!
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