Paper Products

Handmade Paper has a rich, colorful history which has spanned the world's geography and its cultures. Paper is defined by Noah Webster as "a substance made in the form of thin sheets or leaves from rags, straw, bark, wood, or other fibrous material, for various uses." Handmade paper is widely used for its eco friendly nature and the traces of history are left in different cultures.
Handmade Paper in Egyptian Culture
If we wander our mindsback over 5000 years ago to the Nile river valley in Egypt, we will find the traces of thin strips that were cut from the grass Cyperous Papyrus flourishing in those days. These strips were softened in muddy waters of the Nile. These strips were layered and pounded into a thin sheet and left to dry. The resulting sheets were ideal for writing and was then used by Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. The word paper was derived from the "papyrus".
The Father of Handmade Paper
T'sai Lun is said to be the father of handmade paper who was a court official in China. In 105 AD, during the Han Dynasty T'sai Lun experimented with several materials. He then took the inner bark of mulberry tree and bamboo fibers. He mixed them with water and pounded with a wooden tool. He poured this mixture onto a flat piece of coarsely woven cloth and let the water drain through. He allowed it to dry and later he realized that he had created a quality writing surface called the paper. T'sui Lun then became the patron of paper invention.

The art of handmade paper making then crept out of China. It was first spread to Vietnam and Tibet. It eventually spread to Korea, where production of paper began as early as the 6th century AD. According to tradition, a Korean monk named Don-cho brought papermaking to Japan by sharing his knowledge at the Imperial Palace in about AD 610, sixty years after Buddhism was introduced in Japan. In Japan a million prayers- dharani was printed on sheets of paper.

Paper making later opened its wings across Central Asia and Persia, from which it was later introduced into India by trade. It then spread out to Europe and after that the birth of modern paper and paper industry was marked.
Handmade Paper in Korea
Handmade paper in Korea was imported from China during the reign of Sosurim, when there was lot of trading between China and ancient Korea. The first official record of paper in Korea was viewed in 610 AD. The paper was first brought to Korea by a monk named 'Damjing' of the Kokuryo Kingdom, located in the area of North Korea and parts of China.

As the craft of papermaking was developing, our sensible and wise ancestors created a large amount of artwork with paper. The most popular art form of that time was Jisung Craft, Jiho Craft and Color Junji Craft. Among these, Color Junji Craft, which involves the pasting of colored paper layer upon layer, was the most popular. The earliest art form was Hanji from the Chosun Dynasty, a art form that is still in existence today.
Handmade Paper in Indian Culture
Indians hold the credit of having used paper from cellulose fibers during third century BC. Khanzadas were the traditional paper makers who started the art of handmade paper making at Tizara in Alwar district of Rajasthan. They were a significant force at the time of Syed dynasty of Delhi Sultanate. The Khanzadas were then brought to Amer at the end of 16th century by Mirza Man Singh who was a great connoisseur of art, craft and literature. They were settled in Brahamipuri near Amer but because of the shortage of water they were shifted to Sanganer situated on the bank of the river Saraswati. Sanganer emerged as one of the biggest paper making center in western India.

During the British rule the art of paper making had declined, it was alive only in few of the traditional families of that area. At the time of Arab, this art was again boosted. Later, the art of handmade papermaking was revived under the inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi. He demonstrated the art of papermaking at Haripura congress in 1938.

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