Thursday, September 1, 2016

gutenberg's paper

most 15th-century paper is of a very high quality, as is the paper used for the Gutenberg Bible.

later the quality of paper declined - most disastrously in the 19th century when paper-makers began using wood pulp. the paper used in the Gutenberg Bible was imported from caselle in piedmont, northern italy being one of the most important centres for paper-making in the 15th century.

it can be identified because its watermarks. about 70% of the paper has the watermark of an ox head, 20% show a bunch of grapes (in two versions),

its size is known as royal folio, already at that time a fairly standard size of paper, each sheet measuring about 430 x 620 mm, before being folded.

how is this paper made?

the craftsman pounds either wood or linen fibers in a vat to form a pulpy liquid. then he dips a mold into the liquid and shakes it, thus fusing the fibers together to form a sheet of paper. the sheet is then placed on a piece of felt and layered with other sheets until dry.

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