After the Battle of the Tałas River in 751, the Arabs captured Chinese papermakers, thanks to whom the paper became widespread in the Arab lands. The Arabs used starch for paper production, which was well suited to hot and dry climates but not to more temperate regions.
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The production process took quite some time, as the fibres were separated by hand. Initially, paper was used in Europe from Arabs who had paper mills in Spain and Sicily, among others. The oldest paper manuscripts, written on the European continent, are the Breviarium and Missale mozarabicum, written before 1036 in the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos near Burgos. In Latin culture, the first paper mills were set up in the 12th and 13th centuries: in Spain (before 1150) and then in Italy (before 1230). From the 13th century paper production began to spread in other European countries. packaging boxes
The oldest and best known is the paper mill in Fabriano, founded in 1268. Three innovations have been made in the paper production process:
- Fabric fibres were separated using a special machine (pila a magli multipli), which contributed to increasing production and improving the quality of the finished product,
- animal gelatine is used as a bonding agent for the fibres,
- a watermark was introduced to identify the paper mill and to guarantee quality.
The innovations introduced and the migration of papermakers have contributed to the spread of Fabriano paper itself, as well as the way it was produced in the Alpine region.
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The paper production process was accelerated after the introduction of the new „Dutch” machine around 1670. The machine made it possible to grind the raw material into a pulp by means of knives placed in a vat (bottom knife and grinding roller).
Since the beginning of the 19th century, alternative raw materials for paper production have been sought. After many experiments, wood pulp and cellulose turned out to be the most suitable and simple to produce material. It was first used by Friedrich Gottlob Keller in 1845. In 1867, Heinrich Voelter and Johann Matthäus Voith presented a machine for making cellulose machine paper at an exhibition in Paris. Since then, paper production has become mass.