Saturday, February 03, 2007

Story of Paper - Papyrus To Paper

The story of paper tracks down to 5000 years behind. Paper originated in Egypt. Egyptians wrote on materials made from Papyrus Reed. These were grown in the Nile Delta. The writing material was made by laying strips of the stem side by side and sticking them together.

Although Papyrus was prevalent in Egypt it did not reach Europe. The Europeans used the animal skins. This material was called parchment. This had many advantages over papyrus. The parchment was very flexible and did not crack. It could be folded and both sides of it could be cused for writing.

The Chinese official name Ts' Ai Lun made paper using a strange assortment of mulberry and bamboo fibers. This is the material we use today. The chinese guarded the secret of making paper for more than 1000 years. Unfortunately the Moors learnt this and spread it to Spain and Sicily. From there it spread throughout Europe and by the 1200 the paper mills had mushroomed in Italy.

The Paper gained its importance once Johannes Gutenberg invented the first mechanical printing press in 1455. From then on books were printed using the paper and demad for paper grew. Presently United States is the world's leading paper producer.

No comments: