A tissue of vegetable fibres used for writing, drawing and printing on. It is an oriental invention carried from the Far to the Middle East by the Turks during the Dark Ages. In Europe, it is first traceable in the 12th century, among the Moon in Spain, where it was made as well as imported. It was known in Southern Italy at much the same time. France, southern Germany, and Switzerland had well-developed industries in paper by the end of the 14th century. White paper was first made in England in 1495, but not on a large scale until the 18th century. Until 1800, European paper was made entirely of rags pulped in water, and drawing-paper of the best quality is still made by hand in the traditional way. Writing-papers, less expensive drawing-papers, and some book papers are machine-made of a mixture of cotton, hemp, esparto, and wood, with a good deal of china clay added to make them smooth and opaque, size to make them non-absorbent, and starch to make them stiff. Cheaper papers are machine-made wholly of wood. Oriental papers made of bamboo, rice straw, and mulberry bark are imported for artists' use.
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