Egyptian Papyrus

How papyrus paper is made, where papyrus comes from, what it was used for and the different types of papyrus available. Papyrus - the world's first paper!

Types of Papyrus Available

Papyrus Quality

In the same way that we have different kinds and qualities of modern paper, the same was true for papyrus paper. The differing qualities of papyrus were used for varying purposes, for example, cheaply made coarse papyrus was used by merchants as wrapping paper, whereas the finest and most expensive varieties were reserved for religious or literary works.

The quality of papyrus depended upon several factors: the area the papyrus plant was grown, it's age, the season it was harvested and, most importantly, which layer of the pith was used in manufacturing the paper.

The finest papyrus was made using the innermost pith layers and was said to have come from the Delta region.


Light and Dark Papyrus

Papyrus paper also comes in differing colours.

Light papyrus paperLight papyrus is produced during the manufacturing process explained on our "How is Papyrus Paper Made" page.

dark papyrus paperDark papyrus is produced when the strips are left in water for longer than a week, and as long as a month and then pressed for as long as two months. This results in a sheet that takes on a dark brown solid color, which to some, appears more aged. This latter process will cause the edges of the papyri to have a hairy, or fringed appearance as a result of losing some of the natural glue in the strip and the tissue that connects the veins.

While the dark papyrus looks perhaps more authentic and is actually a more expensive production technique, the light colored papyrus sheets are stronger.

Another technique used to produce dark papyrus is to artificially ferment it in mud to age and darken the papyrus. The darker the sheets are the faster they will decompose.


Egyptian Dreams are suppliers of quality papyrus products, including sheets of blank papyrus, paintings, and other papyrus items

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