Vespas, pizza, the leaning tower of Pisa. There are so many ways to conjure up timeless icons, essential strands in the tangle of “Italian-ness”. And in Italy, when people say paper, they’re actually saying Fabriano. Since 1264.
The Italian job
Mythical, Medieval, Made in Italy
Paper: a single word that means a journey. A journey that started far away in Asia along the Silk Road, passing through Samarkand and landing in Fabriano where new artisans frayed, soaked and extracted pulp from rags.
Where paper made from cotton fibre was born, a brilliant idea from the Middle Ages, completely Made in Italy.
A melting pot of languages and cultures. Fabriano paper was iconic from the moment it was born. The eyes of the world were turned to a small town in central Italy, where the arts came together and became even stronger.
A translucent design or writing impressed on the surface of paper, visible when the paper is held up to the light. This superior invention by Fabriano experts has been celebrated and respected all over the world since the 13th century. It was applied as a trademark by artisans and, later, as an anti-counterfeiting security feature.
Gelatin obtained by boiling animal skins, especially rabbit skin. It is used as a base for paper sizing, the waterproofing process to make sheets non-porous to ink. It marked the beginning of the use of paper for official documents thanks to its greater shielding power.
Multiple hammer mill
A traditional hand-made paper making tool. Originally designed with a single hammer, the presence of several arms on the same machine allows different functions to be assigned to each – thinning out, refining and surfacing – thereby increasing the quality and quantity of production.