Samarkand was famous throughout the Islamic world for its especially fine paper.
Paper is made from plant material or cloth that is mashed to a pulp and then formed into a sheet. These Chinese drawings from the early 1600s show how to make paper from bamboo.
- Cut plants or pieces of cloth and soak them in water.
- Boil the plants and pound them to a pulp.
- Mix the pulp with water in a vat. The tiny fibers will hang suspended in the water. Dip a paper mold in and lift it out. It will pick up a thin layer if pulp, forming a sheet.
- Turn out the wet sheet of paper and press it to squeeze out the water.
- Hang the paper to dry.