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How is toilet paper made?

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How is toilet paper made? Go behind the scenes of a Swansea Sofidel paper mill in Wales to see how cellulose is mixed with water and refined into a pulp that can be made into a gigantic toilet paper roll. It’s then rerolled and cut down into portions that we use in our bathrooms.

The ten-minute video is an excerpt from National Geographic‘s history-filled documentary Chasing Paper. Update: The original clip was removed from YouTube so I’ve replaced it with the entire documentary.

giant toilet paper roll
The promotional segment marked the 50th anniversary of the Sofidel Group’s tissue paper manufacturing, as well as their commitment to making “toilet paper while also limiting CO2 emissions, respecting forestry resources, and using water resources more rationally.”

new tree

The full version of the documentary, broadcast on European National Geographic channels, explores the history of paper, with English presenter Tim Shaw taking viewers on a journey through Europe. After talking about the inventor of paper, Cai Lun, Shaw takes us from Salisbury Cathedral, which houses the Magna Carta, the first and most ancient written document on human rights, to Fabriano, where ancient papermakers perfected the paper production process, making paper a reliable and durable material. The journey also takes in Mainz, where Gutenberg invented printing with movable type, and we discover how, today, paper is produced industrially at the Sofidel Group’s plants.

toilet paper
Fun fact: American inventor Joseph Gayetty “is credited with the invention of commercial toilet paper.”

“It was the first and remained only one of the few commercial toilet papers from 1857 to 1890 remaining in common use until the invention of splinter-free toilet paper in 1935 by the Northern Tissue Company.”

Related search: Poop. Plus, watch these paper-making videos:
• The Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani
Gangolf Ulbricht, The Papermaker
• Old paper, new paper, a classic Sesame Street short
• Poo Paper: How to make paper out of elephant poo
The art of making a book: Setting type, printing, & binding by hand

via Wide Open School.

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