Stationery has been the foundation of written communication for thousands of years. The Egyptians were the first to develop a form of parchment, made from thin animal skin, usually goat or sheep. Only the wealthiest were able to afford parchment paper at the time and with it’s inability to deal with humidity and splitting so easily, parchment had its limits.
With the Egyptians eager to document their success they invested a lot time into developong a new form of stationary that could deal with humidity. Using a pithy plant known as Papyrus stem strips put together in single lines, layer after layer and crosswise. After being moistened and hammered into a solid sheet, they were left to dry for several days. This new form of stationery held up better under humid conditions and did not mold or rot. This method was used throughout Europe up until the 12th Century and would last around 200 years. It is believed that the work paper derives from Papyrus.
But is is actually a Chinese man by the name of Ts’ai Lun that was credited with inventing paper. Taking the inner bark of the Mulberry tree and combining it was bamboo fibers he then addded water and pounded the three ingrediants. It would then be left on a cloth for the water to drain off. Adopted around the world the ingrediants were slowely altered and eventually it was linen fibers that created the high quality paper we know today.
As the USA’s wealth grow in the 19th Century as did the demand for quality products and fine stationary became aspirational. By the early 1810 Century there were approximately 200 paper mills in the United States producing a range of new paper types such as monogrammed paper to be used for letters, notes and announcements. Wedding and birth announcements became a regular stationary printer request too.
As the early 1900s brought about global technological advances, stationery printing expanded to include color printing and so more products became available. Stationery printers could produce greeting cards, notebooks, journals and full color paper.
By the middle of the century, stationery printers had sophisticated machinery at their disposal that could produce any kind of printed stationery product quickly and efficiently. Flyers, brochures, business cards and more extensive products were ordered from stationery printing services by businesses and individuals.