It was in the year 1154, when the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi left written in his manuscripts that in Valencia “there was an unparalleled paper in the world.” That is why it is known that the paper tradition in the Valencian Community dates back to the Islamic era, being in the city of Xàtiva where the first paper mill in Europe was built which exported to the rest of the world. After the reconquest, this hegemony declined and imported paper was used, mainly Italian, which caused local production to suffer a serious break. It was not until the end of the XVI, when the demand from booksellers and monasteries increased, when new paper mills began to establish themselves in our territory, mainly due to the good conditions of the land, as there were numerous and abundant river courses .
They were the colonial market and the demand for paper for the Seat of the Royal Seal, and especially for the Tobacco Pond, the main engine for the Valencian papermaking manufacturing to resurface strongly since the end of the 18th century and during the 19th century. Unfortunately, the industrial transformation that occurs from this time is slowed down in this paper sector and an in-depth renovation would be necessary so that it could resurface.
In traditional areas such as Alcoià-Comtat or Hoya de Buñol-Chiva, this activity has disappeared or has a practically testimonial presence. However, in these localities there is still the trace of Valencian industrialization and an important cultural and industrial heritage remains, capable of being recovered and revalued.
It is in this cultural environment where the UNESCO Forum University and Heritage Chair, intends to contribute its small grain of sand, to recover and value the production of paper in its most primordial elaboration, such as handmade paper with sustainable fibers , with artisanal or artistic uses and by the hand of excellent masters of international prestige.
Handmade paper and paper art are techniques that allow us to create an idea, develop it and finish it wet, providing textures, colors, lines, spots and delimited shapes, impossible to achieve with other techniques. The paperart is the technique by which the work is constructed during the papermaking process.
The pulps we will use are from Mitsumata and Lokta, grown in Nepal by Khadi papers. Mitsumata pulp (PLP M) Edgewothia Papyrefera bark fiber 100% and Lokta pulp (PLP L) Daphne Bholua bark fiber 100% are native plants that grow high in the Himalayan forests and are a resource renewable.
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