Anne in Xinjiang: On the trail of millennia-old mulberry paper

By Su Yingxiang, Wu Chaolan, Annemarie Li  (People's Daily Online) 13:22, June 01, 2021

Moyu County is truly the hometown of mulberry-bark paper in China. With great expectations for this ancient craft of paper making, Anne came to Xinjiang to experience the process of how mulberry-bark paper is made.

Mulberry-bark paper originated in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), more than 300 years earlier than Cai Lun’s improved papermaking technology. It was also an emissary on the ancient Silk Road. In 2016, it was listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

The mulberry-bark paper features fine fiber, clear texture, good flexibility, strong water absorption, and corrosion resistance. It can be preserved for thousands of years for painting and calligraphy without decaying or fading.

The production process of mulberry-bark paper is quite complex, as there are 72 pure manual steps involved. Mulberry branch endodermis was used as a raw material through cutting, soaking, peeling, boiling, filtering, hammering, fermentation, water filtering, airing, and other processes.

(Web editor: Guo Wenrui, Liang Jun)


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