Papermaking at Tuckenhay Mill

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Product - paper

Reference: [1] The Story of Handmade Paper (1924)


Hand made paper is made by the original process unchanged for thousands of years. The mould is dipped into pulp by hand and slowly shaken till the fibres are felted together in all directions. This gives strength and durability for documents and books.

A genuine hand made has an attractive appearance. It is distinguished, and gives a message of strength and stability that makes it worth while for correspondence. Artists who want a pure everlasting paper on which to work always use a genuine hand made. Chemists in all parts of the world who wan the best filter paper use English hand made.

An invitation or greeting should be attractive and nothing is more pleasing to the eye than a rough edged hand made card. Etchers and fine printers can only produce the most artistic results on special paper that shows the character of the craftsman who made it, and which has no mechanical surface. Bankers and the legal profession use hand made paper, They know they can depend on it to last.


Europe first learned to make paper round about the year 700 A.D., the secret having come from the Far East, where the Chinese had known of the process for probably two thousand years. As long ago as 1102 A. D. the King of Sicily set his seal to a deed engrossed on hand made paper, and that deed is still in existence, and it is very definite evidence of the durability of paper made in this way.

Watermarks, which originally were crude pictures of animals or reproductions of religious symbols, came into use about 1300 A. D., and it was not until late in the fourteenth century that papermaking was introduced into England. From that time until the beginning of the nineteenth century all paper was hand made. The time when machinery was first introduced was, curiously enough, a time when the hand-made industry revived, many new mills were built, and the workmen's society was founded.

The ancient craft of hand made papermaking is not the creation of any one individual, but is the product of long generations of patient and devoted workers, every one of whom has taken a personal pride in the skilful manipulation of his material and in the production of a beautiful sheet of paper. The hand made worker, when shaking his mould, feels the thrill of delight that only comes to the creative craftsman, and every member of the mill's crew has learnt that the production of perfect paper gives satisfaction and pleasure to all concerned in its manufacture, the inherited skills and the carefully trained faculties of the expert workman finding their due reward in the perfection of the product.

The difference between hand made and machine made is just like the difference between the picture of a great artist and the reproduction, and it is to those who can appreciate that difference that this book is dedicated