Paper Making

Paper-making has been a major industry of the Ambert area since the 15th century, when the first artisans installed themselves in the area to take advantage of the ample water supplies to power their mills.

The Livradois paper-makers made a heart symbol their own mark, and it is still to be found as a watermark on the paper and engraved over the doors of their mills.

Reluctant to change and overtaken by industrialization in the middle of the 19th century, the traditional mills were put out of business by the 1950s, but the process can still be seen in working museums.

The paper was made from rags; these had to be sorted and have any buttons etc removed. The rags are chopped up and made into a thick paste with water, then pressed into a forming frame. The sheets thus made are squeezed in stacks of a hundred sheets, often with a press powered by a watermill. Finally the sheets are separated and hung up to dry before being checked and packaged.

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