paperIn Europe,all and all, paper was a rather slowly moving meme:
up until the end of the thirteenth century, parchment and vellum were used instead of paper, which was not generally available.
Japan reached in the seventh century,
Samarkand in the eighth, and like so much else, it is believed the Moors brought to to Europe from there.
first evidence: spain 1085 paper mill in Ja(ague)tiva, Spain.
first mill in Italy, at Fabriano, latter thirteenth century.
so it took over 1000 years to bear European fruition, afterwards the end of the thirteen and the end of the sixteenth century, "more than sixteen thousand individual watermarks were in use throughout Europe" (Chappell, page 14)watermarks:paper was awaiting printing to expand
made from wired formed into simple designs which, in handmade paper, is sewn into the screen. (Chappell, page 14)
before paper was made from trees (pre-17th century), paper was made with rags
riches in rags intense shortages, and state-decreed monopolies over rag collection, febvre page 33
"...the cost price of the paper must have [been] dearer than the actual printing costs." febvre page 113. this was true up until the 18th century, barring printers use of poorer quality stock.
mills depended on rags for their paper production, wood was an unknown stock-base.
rag collection was at first a lucrative trade, and then, the state understood it too important - so rag collection became a protected, regulated, licensed trade.