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Uzbekistan revives silk paper production.

Pulp and Paper BUSINESS & TRADE information
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Photo: gelio livejoirnal

The production of unique silk paper has been recently revived in Uzbekistan, according to recent statements, made by state officials and local media reports.

The new production was launched in the city of Konigil on the basis of old technologies of the production of Samarkand silk paper. A thousand years ago, such paper was considered one of the world’s highest quality material.

Uzbekistan has been of the centers of papermaking in Asia since VIII century, where the first papermaking technology was adopted by artisans from Samarkand.

“We learned from the Chinese how to make paper and started exporting it along the Great Silk Road. And even when they learned about Chinese paper, Samarkand paper was still in the lead, because the Chinese had one-sided paper, ”said an employee of the factory Sanjar Mukhtarov.

Samarkand paper was in great demand because of its smoothness and color, as well as durability. Most of the documents written on Samarkand silk paper are still kept in many museums around the world.

“We decided to revive the technology of Samarkand paper. Firstly, because it is interesting, and secondly, because now people are running out of supplies of silk paper. Many artists had stocks, and now they tear up old books in order to paint in miniature, because they need handmade paper, ”said Mukhtarov.

The manufacturing itself is an energy-consuming and labor-intensive process. As a raw material, craftsmen use young mulberry bark, which is boiled in a vat of water for a long time. Then the raw material is treated in large mortars, and the resulting homogeneous mass is transferred into a tub of water and filtered. After which the mass is pressed on non-woven sheets.

By: Eugene Gerden

Simon Matthis
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