Paper was first invented in 105 AD in China. In 10th century it started spreading into Europe. Starting from Spain and Sicily it spread all over Europe by 1400 A.C. In 15th century, with the invention of printing press in Germany the paper production increased hugely. The oldest evidence of paper document in West was found in the Islamic part of Spain in the 11th century.

In ancient inscriptions were broadly made on tablets of bamboo. Sometimes pieces of silks were also used but due to the heavy weight and cost of these products they could not proved to be convenient for long time. Hence, to beat this inconvenience the idea of making paper from bark trees developed. Tshai Lun was the first one to discover the process of papermaking. Apart from bark trees, remnants of hemp, rags of cloths or fishing nets were also used for making paper. However, in ancient times it was generally used for writing only. The first use apart from writing was found in 2nd century. It was used for padding or for wrapping. The first use of toilet paper was found in China around 6th century. The first evidence of paper made bag was found during Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). Slowly multi colored cups, baskets and napkins came into use. These can be said the first example of handmade crafted papers.

The main important development took place during Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.). During this time the first banknote was produced by government. Moreover, envelope was also used for wrapping notes to bestow on deserving government officials as gift. In 9th century another important development took place in the Islamic World. With the introduction of book binding and book production more than 100 bookshops opened in Arabs. From 19th century onwards, the development and use increased in large extent. Before the industrialization, where the production was made mainly from fibers, after the revolution the wood pulp came into use for the mass production.

In the modern period the use of paper took another form. Along with the necessity purpose, it has gained huge importance for the decorative purpose. However, the first evidence of craft and decoration can be traced long back in Japan during 17th century. Origami has a rich history and it slowly spread into the European countries also. Today, the paper has been largely used in writing stationery, shopping bags, wrapper, pen holder, folders and in other cases. Along with its usefulness the beauty of paper is found in different decorative crafted papers used today for various purposes.

Invented for the use of writing it has now found place in all sectors of our life. Where in agriculture it is used for sacks or animal bedding, for building purpose it has found use for making wallpaper, plasterboard and decorative laminations. In business catalogues, brochures and letter heads are widely used; tissue, cups and plates are some important products for domestic use. For educational purpose, the exercise books, report cards and flip charts are the most common use of it. Last but not the least, in entertainment paper is widely used in menu cards, playing cards, board games and in filtration for water, coffee, oil, beer or medicine.

Author's Bio: 

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