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From the website of the Amalfi Paper Museum | The Foundation "Museo della Carta" has always worked to spread, disseminate and document that concerns the art of making handmade paper of Amalfi. All this is possible thanks to the work of its founder Mr. Nicola Milano

The discovery of paper, between legend and reality

The discovery of paper is one of many shining precious stones in the history of human civilisation; this discovery is worldwide attributed to a Chinese minister named Ts’ai Lun, in 105 a.c. Old tales tell that Ts’ai Lun was finding himself at the shore if a pool besides a laundry which was squandering water of some, probably wear out textiles. The laundry, suffering hard under the rubbing and beating began, to fray and small fibres began to float but later on they began to reunite into a small sheets at the feet of Ts’ai Lun.

On the skin of the water a veil of fibres was formed after a while. Ts’ai Lun observed it and he picked it up with care to put it on herbs to let it dry. The dry sheet was solid, white and soft and it brought Ts’ai Lun the brilliant idea that it could be used as writing material. This legend about the art of making paper runs from that moment on around the world at relatively fast speed. It reaches through the east to Korea and from there to Japan in the VI century a.c., then it comes to the Arab world to reach the Mediterranean later on. The new art became successful for its special qualities and it substitutes the production of parchment paper in short time.

 

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