The first signs of paper showed up as papyrus in Egypt and vellum in the Middle East. Paper as we know today, in the woven form of textiles, came from China about 2000 years ago, and the process by which it is made has not changed much throughout the centuries. There are many different Paper Making Techniques. Common Paper is made by beating wood or cotton fibers into a pulp, suspending them in water and drawing out sheets of wet fiber onto screens. Watercolor Paper is common hand made paper.
The resulting sheets are pressed to remove moisture, either by hand or machine, and left to dry. Wood fibers produce the bulk of the paper we see in our lives, from newspapers to cardboard boxes. Drawing papers that are made from wood fibers are well priced, but not suitable for permanent work because the acids they contain quickly cause the paper to discolor and turn brittle. In more expensive papers, acids are removed or neutralized. Cotton fibers interlock and weave better than wood fibers, creating a structure of strength and flexibility in cotton fiber, or “rag,” papers. Papers can also be made from combinations of wood and cotton, or cotton and synthetic fibers.