Ancient Paper Making

2017-12-27 16:04:43 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province


The splendid national culture of China depends on the continuity of culture. The invention and application of paper play so important parts that Chinese civilization history was recorded completely.

Paper making technology in Zhouzhi County inherited that of almost two thousand years. Moreover, after constant improvement, finally unique paper making technology took form. Local materials are used to make paper, namely using broussonetia papyrifera on the shady slope of the north slope of Qinling Mountains. After 108 working procedures, finally natural paper is made.


Collected branches are cut into pieces about one meter long and tied by strings. Traditionally this process is called baling, followed by soaking, steaming bark, peeling bark, re-soaking and then fermentation.

After formation for about two days, the material is get out, put into a steamer for steaming. Next, put the material into sacks and then to clean water in a pond to wipe off lime. After this, the material is spread out on a slabstone to dry it till fibers in the material gets white. Finally the material is collected, put into a stone mortar and mashed by manually stepped lever. Then the material is packed by a cloth bag. The bag with material is bathed in boiling water heated plant ash, got out, flushed by clean water and placed in a room for national drying in the shade.

The dried paper material is put into a steamer again, followed by poaching, airing, impurity removing, baling. The bale is fixed on a special wooden chair. The material on the chair is cut into pieces by a large blade and the cut paper material is packed by a cloth bag. The bag with paper material can enter paper pond after being cleaned by clean water. In the paper pond, paper material is mixed with water and formed pulp which is ready for paper fishing.

paper fishing must keep good balance. The fished paper should be dried on an earth wall. After being dried completely, pieces of paper are collected one by one. The edges of such paper are cut down. Then the paper is baled. The whole paper making process comes to an end.

It takes two months to make a complete mulberry bark paper, requiring that artists have not only practiced skills but also good physical strength and endurance. Mulberry bark paper made in Zhouzhi is flexible and hard to break off. It is better paper for handwriting and painting.

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