Paper Through History: 5 Facts You Might Not Know!

Paper Through History: 5 Facts You Might Not Know!

There are a few things that are considered to be the greatest inventions of humankind: the wheel, electricity, the compass, and believe it or not, paper!

We use paper every day for a myriad of purposes — scribbling notes, handling office work, jotting down personal thoughts. But have you ever stopped to think: what’s the story behind this simple yet essential commodity? From ancient times to today, paper has a story worth knowing. In this article, we’ll uncover five fascinating facts about paper and paper making that might just surprise you!

1. Paper is more than 2000 years old!

That’s right! The history of paper making began long before your favorite novels hit the shelves. As a matter of fact, paper is one of the oldest inventions in the world!

It all started in ancient China around 2nd century BCE, when Ts’ai Lun, a Chinese court official created a sheet of paper by mixing mulberry bark, hemp, and rags with water. He then mashed it into pulp, pressed out the liquid and hung the thin mat to dry in the sun and voila — paper, as we know it today, was born. Talk about resourcefulness!

2. Paper used to go by the name

The name ‘paper’ comes from the Greek word papyrus — a term that links back to ancient Egypt, when the Egyptians used the stems of the papyrus plant to make a surface for writing. This is why many people think that Egyptians were the first paper making geniuses, when in reality, the origins of paper trace back to China.

3. Paper became popular several centuries after its discovery

Even after people in China began to use paper, it took another 800-900 years before paper usage became a global sensation. The idea travelled along trade routes, reaching various places and cultures. Then, in the 19th century, innovation knocked on paper’s door, bringing in paper making machinery which changed the game forever — factories could churn out more paper than ever. And the rest, as they say, is history.

4. Paper remains one of the easiest materials to recycle on earth!

Considering that the first paper was born from recycling materials like mulberry bark and rags, it’s no surprise that paper has maintained its recycling-friendly nature into the modern world. In fact, paper has a higher recycling rate compared to other materials such as glass, metal, plastic, and electronics! So, the next time you think of tossing that old piece of paper in the bin, stop and think. It can almost certainly be reused!

5. The average worker uses 10,000 pages a year!  

Think our modern offices are using less paper than ever? Think again.   

In this day and age, you probably wouldn’t expect paper usage to be this high up. But research and statistics say otherwise. According to a 2022 study, worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the last 40 years, with the average employee using about 10,000 pages annually. Yes, you read that right — paper’s not going anywhere!   

Bonus Fact! (Not exactly a fact, but an interesting observation)

When you think about it, paper might very well be one of the most important and impactful artifacts of human civilization. Historical documents, love letters, doodles that made you smile — they all find a home on paper. It’s a lifeline to our past, a bridge between generations.

Even in a world where everything is just a click away (literally), we still depend on paper. As humans, there’s something instilling and binding about writing with a pen and paper, whether it’s signing a document or writing a to-do list. It appears, almost set in stone, which unlike a typed document, can very easily be erased by the touch of a button.

The act of writing on paper is also a refreshing change of pace. It’s a lot like cooking a meal from scratch instead of ordering takeout. And just like a homemade meal, there’s a sense of accomplishment in creating something tangible and real — a unique feeling that can’t quite be matched by technology and all its wonders.

Preserving Tradition: IK Yellow’s Commitment to Timeless Quality

Much like the evolution and history of paper over centuries, IK Yellow’s journey is a testament to the blend of tradition and innovation. When it comes to paper that stands the test of time, they’re the champs! Their range of premium paper doesn’t just serve as a surface for writing or printing; it extends to embracing the changing needs of today’s world. From enhanced printing capabilities to sustainable sourcing practices, IK Yellow remains at the forefront of paper making innovation, reflecting its commitment to delivering timeless quality, one sheet of paper at a time!