Paper is a sheet of interlaced fibers-usually cellulose fibers from plants, but sometimes from cloth rags or other fibrous materials-that is formed by pulping the fibers and causing them to felt, or mat, to form a solid surface.
The evolution of writing materials culminated in the development of paper. The oldest written records still surveying are Sumerian clay tablets dating from the 4th millennium BC. Papyrus came into use about 3500 BC. Parchment, made from the skins of animals, was another important material used in
The Development of Paper Manufacture
The invention of paper is generally attributed to a Chinese court official, Cai Lun, in about AD 105, he was the first to succeed in making a paper from vegetable fibers-tree bark, rags, old fish netting. The art of making paper was kept secret for 500 years, the Japanese acquired it only in the 7th century.
In AD 751 the Arab city of
The Spread of Papermaking in
Knowledge of papermaking traveled westward, spreading throughout the
Vegetable fibers were shredded and reduced to a pulp in water; a screen was dipped and removed with a thin layer of pulp. As the water drained off, the pulped fibers meshed and metted into a sheet, which was then dried and pressed.
19th Century Improvement
Papermaking technology improved rapidly throughout the 19th century. The introduction of chlorine for bleaching meant that white paper could now be manufactured from colored linen and cotton rags, thus increasing the range of available raw materials. Esparto grass from