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Paper making in Rajasthan dates back to the 16th century. Mughal emperors who then ruled India seem to have encouraged this form of art. Purportedly, a paper industry was flourishing in this part of India in those times. Maharaja Jai Singh II is known to have set up a commercial paper business in Sanganer, which lies in the outskirts of Jaipur City. Today this city is very famous all over the country for its handmade paper.
Uses of Handmade Paper
The paper that is made here is acid free and can be put to different uses. Notebooks, photo frames, diaries, envelopes, letter heads, rough note pads, coasters and paperweights are only a few. Even pencil boxes, dustbins and other objects can be made out of this paper. Paper bags are very relevant in this age when the world is looking to get rid of plastics.
The raw material for making paper is cotton waste. Cotton waste is first made into pulp. Different natural additives including flower petals are added to the pulp. After transferring this pulp to large tanks, fine meshes are used to fish out the pulp from the tanks’ bottoms. The pulp is then covered with sheets of muslin which is then pressed to remove the water. The muslin is peeled off from the pulp and it is allowed to dry. The end product is handmade paper. This paper is then embellished with different accessories (optional) and made into the different forms as mentioned above.
Handmade paper that this industry produces today is very attractive. Paper is made with embedded flower petals, silk thread, etc. different types of paper such as banana paper and mulberry paper, drawing paper, mottled paper, moon-rock paper, paper, batik paper, crinkled paper, embroidered and silk paper among others are some of the different types. Zari work, embroidery printing, hand block printing, and other such work add to the beauty of the handmade paper of Rajasthan.
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