ArtId Art Blog
Both handmade and mouldmade papers are still being made today in the city of Fabriano following traditions that have made this the center of Italian paper making since the thirteenth century. More than 40 mills flourished along the River Giano, which by the l5th century, exported their papers throughout Europe and North Africa and were praised by Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael.
The Fabriano papermakers can be given credit for several innovations in papermaking such as the use of gelatine instead of starch as a sizing and the invention of the hydraulic hammer for the preparation of the pulp. But it is the creation of the watermark which is perhaps Fabriano's most important contribution, since its use allowed for the identification of a sheet of paper and its maker. Indeed, Fabriano is still widely known for the intricate watermarks that adorn their sheets including the photo-watermarked varieties that are used for Italian currency. Today, Cartiere Miliani Fabriano is a massive operation, still comprised of numerous mills, each with their own special grades of paper.
For a more detailed biography of this mill, or other mills, visit LegionPaper.com.