Paper wasn’t always paper as we know it. It was once made from cotton and the most common way of getting the raw materials was using old clothes!
They were cut into small pieces and then ground down in water to produce the finest floating particles which were sieved on mesh forms creating pages. Vacuum pumped to remove the bulk of the water they were then dried between felt sheets. Complex watermarks were developed using copper wire embroidered in the forms.
Here’s a new use for your old blue jeans!
An unexpected visit to the Paper Museum in Silkeborg, Denmark gave us a look at the history of paper making and a fun, interactive and hands-on demonstration.
In 1844 Michael Drewsen, son of a paper manufacturer, set up his own business in the middle of nowhere – just a farm and a fast running stream.
It grew to a massive factory complex employing 2,000 people and produced 70,000 tonnes of paper a year including fine paper for the royal family and Danish bank notes. The town of Silkeborg grew up around the factory and now has a population of 45,000. Only closed in 2000, the old Mill buildings live on as an office complex with the museum, live music theatre, movies and a restaurant.
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