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The History of Paper

history of paper

If you think paper was invented by the Egyptians… you had better think twice!

The paper as we know it today was actually invented in China around 2,000 years ago.

At first, it was mainly used to wrap gifts, precious artefacts, objects and special products sold in expensive shops. However, they quickly realised they could actually write on it, which was very practical as paper was not as heavy as bamboo and not as expensive as silk – both being commonly used as material for writing back then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper making process from 2,000 years ago.
Source: chinaculture.org

Soon, this practice of writing on paper became common amongst Chinese people, but it took a while before Europe embraced this novelty, which only happened centuries later in Germany – not long before Gutenberg’s press.

Europe took that long to use paper mostly because Europeans did not need it. Most people did not know how to read and write and the sheepskin material they used to write on – although expensive – was working just fine.

However, commercial trade demanded cheaper options and suddenly paper became appealing to European eyes.

It was only a matter of time before printing also became appealing, saving lots of money and sheep’s lives!

Printing was just the beginning of the vast uses of paper in Europe: we used it to prepare our good old cuppas, to decorate our walls and well… even in the toilet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: BBC UK

Paper was fundamental to the British economy back in the 1870s and it helped to create the first strongest industry in the whole continent.

CDP has been working with paper and printing for more than 40 years and we can categorically say that it is fundamental to any business. We have the expertise to best advise you about any print and paper management needs your business may have. Drop us an email and we will be more than happy to help: info@cdp.co.uk.

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