Paper is one of the most essential elements that we use almost all the time without really caring for it. However, nowadays, the use of paper is being reduced only to save the earth and environment. Paper has influenced our civilization to a great deal.
Fact 1 Beginning Of Paper
The earliest reference of paper is found in the history of Egyptian civilization. They used papyrus to from reeds of plants to write on. It is said that during the second century, paper was made by a Chinese named Cai Lun who was an official at the court. He made paper from fish netting and bark of trees. Paper is actually made from plant fiber or wood pulp. There is reference to paper-making in the Islamic world during the late 8th century A.D.
Fact 2 Gradual Development Of The Art Of Papermaking
Gradually the art of making paper spread westward and the first paper mill in Europe was built around 1150 in Valencia province, Spain at Jativa. Soon interested people gathered knowledge regarding paper and its processing and soon paper mills were established in England, France, Germany and Italy during the 15th century and at the close of the 16th century Europe has many paper mills. Japanese papermaking was more artistic and it is a treasured craft of Japan. The decorative uses of paper were well established by Japanese papermaking techniques. Washi is the handmade paper exclusively crafted in Japan to make amazing lanterns, functional screens and doors, festive kites and other products.
Fact 3 From Where Do We Get Paper
Paper is made from the pulp of wood and fiber of different plants. Whether paper is handmade or made in paper mills, the raw materials that is the fibers are gathered from various sources that include cellulose, cloth rags, plant fibers and mostly from trees. The paper that is produced from cloth rags is of the highest quality. Paper required for special occasions and art purposes like pen and ink drawings are manufactured in mills by combining linen and cotton fibers.
Fact 4 Process Of Making Paper
The process of making paper is not the same as before. Initially it was a simple process but required expertise. But today various machines are used to make paper. But the method is almost the same. First the raw materials are gathered from fibers of plants that are grown especially for papermaking and the rest is obtained from vegetable matter, recycled newspaper, spruce and fir trees which are known as soft wood. The fibers of elm and poplar trees are also used for papermaking and they are known as hard wood. Apart from these, bamboo, flax, hemp, sugarcane, jute and straw are also used to make paper pulp. Then a chemical process is used to convert the fibers into pulp which is filtered and finally bleached and sent to paper plant. The squeezing and pounding process is carried out by various machines and different kinds of sizings are used to get the perfect sheets of paper. The sheets are then rolled to achieve uniformity and then according to usage, they are dyed, printed or designed. For the finishing touches, paper thus manufactured is passed through smooth rollers.
Fact 5 Paper And Environment
Paper is no doubt extremely important. But the increase in the use of paper is soaring up to frightening heights. More and more trees are being cut down for the purpose and the growth of trees is not so rapid as compared to its destruction. Moreover the chemicals used in manufacturing paper are causing air pollution. It is now very important to recycle paper and everyone must try to use less of paper to save the earth and our environment from complete destruction.