Paper mills

A paper mill is a water-powered mill that pounds the pulp by the use of trip-hammers. The mechanization of the pounding process was an important improvement in paper manufacture over the manual pounding with hand pestles. While the use of human and animal powered mills were known to Chinese and Muslim papermakers, evidence for water-powered paper mills is elusive in both of them.[27][28][29][30] The general absence of the use of water-power in Muslim papermaking is suggested by the habit of Muslim authors to call a production center not a "mill", but a "paper manufactory".[31] Donald Hill has identified a possible reference to a water-powered paper mill in Samarkand, in the 11th-century work of the Persian scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni, but concludes that the passage is "too brief to enable us to say with certainty" that it refers to a water-powered paper mill.[32] While this is seen by Halevi nonetheless as evidence of Samarkand first harnessing waterpower in the production of paper, he concedes that it is not known if waterpower was applied to papermaking elsewhere across the Islamic world at the time;[33] Burns remains altogether sceptical given the isolated occurrence of the reference and the prevalence of manual labour in Islamic papermaking elsewhere.[34] The earliest certain evidence to a water-powered paper mill dates to 1282 in the Spanish Kingdom of Aragon.[1] A decree by the Christian king Peter III addresses the establishment of a royal "molendinum", a proper hydraulic mill, in the paper manufactu

ing centre of Xativa.[1] The crown innovation appears to be resented by the local Muslim papermakering community; the document guarantees the Muslim subjects the right to continue their way of traditional papermaking by beating the pulp manually and grants them the right to be exempted from work in the new mill.[1] Papermaking centres began to multiply in the late 13th century in Italy, reducing the price of paper to one sixth of parchment and then falling further; papermaking centers reached Germany a century later.[35] The first paper mill north of the Alps was established in Nuremberg by Ulman Stromer in 1390; it is later depicted in the lavishly illustrated Nuremberg Chronicle.[36] From the mid-14th century onwards, European paper milling underwent a rapid improvement of many work processes. Papermaking is the process of making paper, a substance which is used universally today for writing and packaging. In papermaking a dilute suspension of fibers in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibers by pressing and drying to make paper. Since the invention of the Fourdrinier machine in the 19th century, most paper has been made from wood pulp because of cost. But other fibre sources such as cotton and textiles are used for high-quality papers. One common measure of a paper's quality is its non-woodpulp content, e.g., 25% cotton, 50% rag, etc. Previously, paper was made up of rags and kemp as well as other materials.