History is Good for You (1840s Lithograph of Papermaking in Germany)

Once-upon-a-time the only paper you could get was handmade, and ‘Vat Man’ and ‘Coucher’ were non-esoteric job titles.

The process of hand papermaking is a “useful art [that could have an] especially compelling economic rationale,” as this recent New York Times article puts it, in reference to working with your hands.

And, others are feeling a need for “actual, printed-on-paper, snail-mail letters…in envelopes…with stamps” in order to effectively reach their contacts (check out the write-up by Business2community).

History can be an inspiration to such a resurgence of handmade papers, and in turn, more contemporary handmade paper mills like Porridge Papers, Shotwell Paper Mill, Twinrocker, or Carriage House Paper.

Created sometime between 1840 and 1890, this print gives you a glimpse back into the paper industry in Germany. Three men are making paper, one standing at the vat with a mould and deckle, one pressing, and the last applying sizing.

A system that is efficient, sustainable, productive, and even better if you can source local and/or waste fiber (check out what Fresh Press is doing).

historical paper making process

Makes you want do some hand papermaking, right? Learning about history is the best.

The Microbrewery of Hand Papermaking (Fresh Press)

Fresh Press - Sustainable Paper making Something new is brewing in Illinois, and it’s not beer. It’s handmade paper.

Fresh Press is an Agricultural Fiber Paper-Making Research Studio.

That’s right.

They’re part sustainable paper making studio, part research lab, part badass, and they’re all about using leftover fibers from crops in the Midwest.

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