Gift giving has existed for thousands of years although gift wrapping has only developed in recent times. Gift wrapping requires enclosing a gift in particular material including that with designs and imagery. Giving gifts started long before Christmas with Romans offering proverbial socks and undies loved ones during particular festivals. Gift giving became pronounced after the famous three wise men who brought gifts to baby Jesus. This became the start of gift giving during the holiday season.

Gift Wrap

Early material for wrapping gifts

By 1509, wallpapers were used to wrap gifts in England although this paper was thick and volatile. Its use was short-lived since it could most times crack and tear when wrapping. Afterward, brown paper and tissue paper after an introduction by Joseph Gayetty were used to wrap gifts. In the Victorian era, finely printed paper with ribbons and lace was used for gift giving by the wealthy class.

By the 20th century, printed wrapping paper became popular. This paper had ornate depictions of Christmas with guilt edges popular on Christmas cards in that period. Later, people began using gift wrapping paper to birthday gifts and those for other celebrations. This is when Hallmark who became the biggest wrapping paper and greeting cards brand came about.

The popularity of wrapping paper

In 1917, a Kansas City postcard and bookstore run by the Hall brothers ran out of green and red tissue for wrapping gifts a few days to Christmas. Not to miss sales, one of the brothers ordered for decorative French envelope liners from a manufacturing plant and used them as a replacement for popular tissue. This decorative paper sold out faster and the store sold the lining paper next year as gift wrap at a huge profit. The brothers began making their own wrapping paper laying the foundation for the Hallmark brand in the gift wrapping market.

Using gift wrapping paper

In the early 20th century, gift wrapping required a skill. It required one to use their mouth since the sticky tape was introduced in 1930. By this time, the designs printed on Christmas wrapping paper were modified from cherub and flourish patterns to designs that are more stylish. These included repetitive and geometric patterns based around candles, snowflakes, ice skaters, and other icons associated with Christmas.

The Second World War led to rationing for most items to ensure enough money to support the war but gift wrapping paper was spared. The argument was to allow people celebrate Christmas and other celebrations requiring gift giving to boost morale. It is no wonder that gift wrapping sales soared by more than 20 percent during the wartime.

Evolution of gift wrapping paper

By the 1950s and 60s, wrapping paper started becoming more realistic with photographic prints. Film and TV producers embraced film tie-ins. This encouraged the addition of popular movie characters and themes on gift wrapping by the 1970s and 80s. It became possible to use wrapping paper with themes including:

Star Wars
Elmer Fudd
Thunderbirds
Battlestar Galactica

Plastic and paper gift bags adorned with bright images were introduced in the 1980s. This wasn’t a new invention since gift bags had been used in the Victorian era. Stick-on bows and curling ribbons became popular to enhance the look of gift packages for a variety of purposes and functions.

Using gift wrapping paper today

Today, wrapping paper is ideal for multiple functions including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, corporate functions, and other occasions that need gift giving. All it takes is choosing eye-catching wrapping paper to suit the occasion. Fortunately, wrapping paper today is available in various sizes, designs, patterns, colors, and styles.

There’s double-sided gift wrapping paper that offers the versatility of function for the price of one. You can as well choose wrapping paper in generic patterns such as metallic and solids for everyday gift giving. For kids, you can find paper in patterns including animals, cars, and popsicles to delight any child. Additionally, gift wrapping paper is available in beautiful designs for weddings and other special occasions. For corporate functions, you can order custom printed wrapping paper to meet your needs.

Bottom line

Gifts are offered on various occasions but require an appropriate presentation. This is where the use of gift wrapping paper comes in handy. Choosing the right wrapping paper will ensure that the recipient appreciates your gift.

Author's Bio: 

Ashly William is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. Her content is published on many national and international publications. She has expertise in writing about Education and Business Services.