Samarkand paper

samarkand paper

The ancient handicrafts of Uzbekistan

It takes eight to ten hours to bring the wet paper into shape in a wooden press and then stick it onto a smooth board or a window pane. Finally, the paper is smoothed on a marble slab with a shell or an agate stone. And this is how Samarkand paper is made. Of course the question arises as to whether it is even necessary to produce paper by hand under such difficult conditions in this age of scientific-technical revolution.  But Samarkand paper, that was transported 1000 years ago by caranvansaries into many far-off countries along the silk road and considered as the most precious commodity, is used still today not only by uzbek painters and calligraphers but also for restoring historical manuscripts and works. Local young people also work today in this self-sufficient handicraft center «Konigil-Meros» under the direction of Zarif Muchtorov.

Samarkand : the 8th -10th centuries

He went to libraries to research historical texts and documents and traveled to many paper manufacturers all over the world in order to learn the technique thoroughly. After much researching in the years between 19, he had learnt the secret of the art of manufacturing paper and, with the support of the uzbek government, of unesco and of the international Agency «jeika» from Japan, he founded the craft center «Konigil-Meros» (paper manufacture). Samarkand paper is produced here today, plant in this self-sufficient paper manufacturing company, from the bark of the «Morus alba» mulberry tree, called the «mulberry fruit Balchi» by the people and known all over Central Asia. This field of handicrafts, like every other field, has its difficulties and successes. To produce this paper, the branches of the mulberry tree are soaked in water for several days. Then the bark is stripped off, following which the brownish part is separated using a knife. The yellow bark pieces are then boiled for five to six hours in a large caldron. The bark pieces are then pestled in a large mortar for seven to eight hours by a beam driven by a hammer mechanism until the mixture is very pliant and fibrous. As a next step, this pulp is mixed with water from the siyob river in a large caldron. Then the paper is scooped from the caldron with a frame.

The country was constantly being attacked by different invaders. The result was an economic crisis and many handicraft businesses in Samarkand had to close. The craftsmen moved to more peaceful places such as kokand about (in the village «Qogozgir and Tschorku. From then on, kokand became one of the most important centers for paper manufacture. This tradition lasted until 1930. In 1995, an international unesco conference was held in Kogon, part of Buchara district, on the subject «Preservation of historical places of interest». During this event, attention was drawn to the development of this ancient local craft which was gradually dying out. Participants were not only craftsmen from various areas and towns of Uzbekistan but also zarif Muchtorov from Samarkand with a project regarding the re-establishment of the production of Samarkand paper, which was famous and popular all over the Orient but the production of which had. Zarif Muchtorov, a descendant of a famous family of craftspeople from Samarkand, decided to start up this type of applied art again in his home.

samarkand paper

Samarkand, paper, mill (Uzbekistan)

The famous Orientalist and philologist Arminius Vambery, who came to central Asia in 1863, for described Samarkand paper as follows: «The paper produced in Buchara and Samarkand has a good reputation all over Turkestan and in the neighboring countries.». The russian archaeologist. Vjatkin, who lived in Uzbekistan at the beginning of the 20th century and who carried out excavations of many historical objects, wrote the following: «Samarkand is famous all over the world for its rare paper which is exported in large quantities to various countries». During the reign of the Emir Timur (14th to 15th century paper production was one of the most important handicrafts in the country. About 42 manufactories were in operation until the beginning of the 18th century in Samarkand and the surrounding area. Later on, this branch of handicrafts spread to other areas of the country such as kokand, buchara and Tashkent. After the collapse of the timur Empire, wars were fought amongst the local regents.

Reports about Samarkand paper written by various historians and writers are proof of this. According to information from the Arab historian Al-makdisiy (10th century the arrows made in Choresm, the porcelain bowls made in Tashkent and the samarkand paper along the silk road were the products which sold best. The timur descendant Babur who had founded the babur Empire in India said the following about this paper in his famous work «Baburnama «The best paper in the world is produced in Samarkand. It is made in the konigil water-mill on the siyob river, also called Obi rahmat». According to the persian historian Abu mansur saalibi (10th century samarkand paper was of a better quality than Egyptian parchment a day and night difference. The famous Persian calligraph Sultonali maschhadiy (15th to 16th century) recommended working with Samarkand paper: «Samarkand paper is very good! If you are clever, you will not reject this paper: The writing on Samarkand paper is even and fine-looking.».

Workshop on silk paper manufacturing

samarkand paper

Paper mill in, samarkand

From then on, paper was produced in Samarkand. In the 9th century, this craft became one of interest the most important economic factors of the town. Samarkand paper gradually captured all the markets of East and West. In the entire world of the Orient, samarkand paper started to be used just as much as Egyptian parchment. An impressive example is the fact that, in the 9th to 10th centuries, most works and historical manuscripts were written on paper produced in Samarkand.

Samarkand craftsmen, who had developed their activities over a period of one thousand years, developed the technology to produce one of the thinnest, smoothest and most durable papers in the world that could be written on in ink on both sides without being soaked. Whilst the white paper «the samarkand Sultan Paper stands out from the other sorts of paper with its thinness, smoothness and softness, «the samarkand Silk paper» has a fairly high quality, but has a yellowish color. The «Mir Ibrohim» paper has round, drop-like traces and «Nimkanop» has a brownish color because it is made from leftover pieces of silk mixed with bark fibers. Cotton, silk and the bark of the mulberry tree, the «Morus alba are used as the raw material for these types of paper. For several centuries, about two thousand water-mills on the siyob river were in operation and more than 400 of them were suitable for the manufacture of the paper. Scholars, historians and travellers who came to samarkand were amazed at the quality and durability of this paper.

For thousands of years craftsmen of Samarkand have developed technologies for manufacturing different types of paper: Samarkand sulton kogozi (Sultan's sort). The paper was distinguished by white color, subtlety and softness. The other type of paper is Samarkand shoyi kogozi (silky). It was also very glabrous, thin, but light yellow in color. Mir-ibragimi sort had watermarks in the form of a white ring. For the production of Nimkanop sort (semi-hemp silk waste was mixed with bast fiber.


The color turned brown. The art and technology of manufacturing Samarkand paper is constantly being bettered, as evidenced by the diplomas and certificates obtained at international exhibitions). One of the greatest civilizing achievements of man, the Great Silk road, provided decisive cultural stimuli over the course of the centuries, and sent important ideas and inventions out into the world. It left an indelible mark on the golden leaves of history. The legendary paper of Samarkand was as famous as the porcelain, Chinese silk and Indian spices carried on the trade routes of the silk road. In July 751, Chinese war soldiers forced their way across the talas river (today in Kyrgyzstan) near the town of Jambul into central Asia. Abu muslim, at that time the regent of Samarkand, sent his warriors against the unexpected enemy, conquering them and returning to samarkand with over 20,000 Chinese prisoners of war. In order to save their own lives, the Chinese prisoners who had been craftsmen in their homeland revealed the secret of paper manuacturer to samarkand craftsmen, and taught them how to.

Samarkand s silk road treasures botschaft der

When business the guaranteed water runs off, the resulting mass is placed under the press and exactly one day the paper is ready. The resulting paper has a fleecy surface and therefore, to make it smooth, it is grinded with shells. The natural color of Samarkand paper turns out to be light brown and therefore, it is colored with natural dyes to give the desired shade. Paper can be decorated with dried leaves, flower petals, etc. The written material received in this way is in demand by local and foreign calligraphers and miniaturists. Samarkand silk paper is actively used in the restoration of ancient manuscripts in many countries around the world. Thanks to the creative approach to using the composition for its production, samarkand artisans create a wide range of souvenirs. These are purses, calendars, masks, women's bags and even clothes.

samarkand paper

The place at the meros Silk paper Factory is really picturesque because of shady trees, the river, a small Uzbek cafe (chaikhana where travelers are treated with delisious Samarkand plov and sweet fruits. Samarkand paper making, the production mechanisms at Samarkand paper factory, as in the past, are driven by a water wheel using the waters of the siab river. The technology of making Samarkand paper is a very long and laborious process. The paper is made of mulberry, and, only two years old. First, mulberry cuttings writer are soaked in water, and when the cuttings are softened, the process of peeling the bark and separating bast fibers begins. The fibers are dried and poured into boilers with boiling water and made during the day. Then the resulting mass is crushed and poured with water.

latest research of scientists confirm that the white color of the paper has a harmful effect on vision. Meros Paper Mill in Samarkand. . reveal skill secrets of old-world. Only in the 20th century it was possible to revive and restore the technology of making Samarkand paper. June 23, 1998 can be considered a data of revival of Samarkand paper made by hand, by handicraft. The paper mill is located in the village of Konigil, situated. The whole process of making paper is done according to ancient technologies. Uzbekistan tour you will have the great opportunity to see the ancient process of paper making.

The subsequent discovery by samarkand people of cheaper rag materials, which freed the dependence of the industry from bamboo reeds and yardage silkworm, put Samarkand paper first in quality and cheapness in the medieval East. The history of Samarkand paper production. In July, 751, on the taraz (Talas) river there was a battle between Chinese and Central Asian troops. Among the Chinese soldiers there were many descendants from the families of handcrafters, including those who were engaged in the production of paper. Possibly, saving their lives, they uncovered the secrets of technology to samarkand artisans. It was from this time, since the viii century, silk paper had been produced in Samarkand. During the reign of Amir Timur, samarkand paper making continued to be one of the main branches of handicrafts. There were 42 paper-making workshops in Samarkand and its environs. Cotton, silk and mulberry bark were used as a raw material.

Samarkand, museum history of the monuments

Today it is difficult to conceive modern human activity without ordinary paper. Despite the intrusion of cutting-edge it technologies in our daily lives, the paper is still the main carrier parts of information. The well-known historical fact is the birth of paper in China, which has been holding a monopoly for many centuries, keeping the secrets of its production. However, history has brought to our days the facts of the emergence of paper production in other countries. Among the unique crafts that brought Samarkand the world fame on the trade roads of the. Great Silk road that crossed Eurasia, an important place belongs to samarkand paper making. As a well-known orientalist, Adam Metz, noted, the production of Samarkand paper in the 9th-10th centuries ad made a real revolution in the east, liberating this branch of crafts, the products of which were in great demand, from the monopoly of one country - egypt. The medieval author as-sa'libi reported that the paper produced in Samarkand and China pushed out the Egyptian papyrus and parchment on which the ancestors wrote.


Samarkand paper
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  5. The history of Samarkand paper production. In July, 751, on the taraz (Talas) river there was a battle between Chinese and Central Asian troops. Antica b b samarkand. Whilst the white paper «the samarkand Sultan Paper stands out from the other sorts of paper with its thinness, smoothness and softness, «the samarkand Silk paper» has a fairly high quality.

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