The First Papermaking
Papermaking is known to have been traced back to China around 105, when Cai Lun, created a sheet of paper using mulberry and other fibres along with fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste.
However a recent archaeological discovery has been reported from near Dunhuang of paper with writing on it dating from 8 BC. Paper used as a writing medium became widespread by the 3rd century, and by the 6th century toilet paper was starting to be used in China as well.During the Tang Dynasty paper was folded and sewn into square bags to preserve the flavor of tea, while the later Song Dynasty was the first government on Earth to issue paper-printed money.
However Modern papermaking began in the early 1800s in Europe with the development of the Fourdrinier machine, which produces a continuous roll of paper rather than individual sheets. In 1844, both Canadian inventor Charles Fenerty and German inventor F.G. Keller had invented the machine and process for pulping wood for the use in papermaking.This would end the nearly 2000-year use of pulped rags and start a new era for the production of newsprint and eventually all paper out of pulped wood.
Papermaking, involves making a dilute suspension of fibers in water and allowing this mixture to drain through a screen so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibers is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibers by pressing and drying to make paper.
The process to make paper is quite an extensive process.
First the fibers are suspended in water to form a slurry in a large vat. The mold is a wire screen in a wooden frame.
This frame is used to scoop some of the slurry out of the vat.
The slurry in the screen mold is moved around the mold until it forms a uniform thin coating.
The fibers are allowed to settle and the water to drain.
When the fibers have stabilized in place but are still damp, they are turned out onto a felt sheet which was generally made of an animal product such as wool or rabbit fur, and the screen mold immediately reused.
Layers of paper and felt build up in a pile then a weight is placed on top to press out excess water and to keep the paper fibers flat and tight.
The sheets are then removed from the post and hung or laid out to dry
When the paper pages are dry, they are frequently run between rollers to produce a harder writing surface. Papers can be made with different surfaces depending on their intended purpose.