GreatArt UK


Supplying Artists’ Papers Since 1264

Paper is our history. A tradition that has been passed on for 750 years.

It is not known for sure how the art of papermaking came to the small town of Fabriano, but as the craft was originally born in China and spread to the Middle East, it is believed that the Fabrianesi learned the secrets from a group of Arab soldiers who landed in the Port of Ancona during the 13th Century.
The Master Italian paper makers introduced some major innovations. These included the invention of the Hammer Mill, which moved hydraulically and replaced the ancient mortars used by the Chinese to prepare the paper pulp, and the introduction of gelatin to the paper recipe, known as Paper Sizing, which made the paper surface more suitable for writing and increased its age resistance.
Another important invention developed by Fabriano was the watermark, which made it possible to identify the manufacturer and date of the paper, as well as indicating the different qualities such as content and weight. The first watermarks were letters and numbers but these developed into freely designed symbols and became real works of art in themselves.
The real industrial transformation of the paper making art came at the end of the 18th century when the paper mills transformed from workshops to factories. They gathered into seven groups to further perfect the production process for which they are now renowned due to the exceptional quality of whiteness and regularity of the paper sheets.
Today Fabriano paper mills produce watermarked paper for banknotes and cheques, papers for publishers and book binding and of course fi ne art papers for drawing, painting and printmaking. They are the leading paper brand in schools, homes and offi ces and are part of the lives of adults and children throughout Italy and now around the world.
Fabriano papers have been trusted and used by Michelangelo, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Francis Bacon, Georgia O’Keefe, Giuseppe Garibaldi and Roy Lichtenstein and we are confident they will also delight you, no matter what technique you use.

Louise from GreatArt

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