The History of Toilet Paper.

Humans have had toilet hygiene for as far back as recorded, but it hasn't always been toilet paper. The first record of mass-produced commercial toilet paper was in the early 20th century, but before then people depended on less comfortable forms of hygiene. Through the ages, means of hygiene often depended on the climate as well as customs. The impact on toilet habits also depended on social hierarchy.

What is definitive though, is that all through history, humans have always used a variety of natural materials to keep themselves clean. In ancient times, it was common to use snow, water or stones. Whereas some people used animal fur. Some people also used communal sponges on sticks, often being cleaned with salt water and then re-used. Moss and leaves were also a common source of "toilet paper". The most common source of toilet hygiene for royalty and nobles was cloth. 

The first record of using paper for cleansing was from medieval China in the 6th century, although paper originated from China in the second century B.C. Decades later, in the early 14th century, the Chinese started manufacturing toilet paper at rates of 10s of millions of packages of 10,000 sheets yearly. In the 15th century, paper became widely available but in the Western society, commercial toilet paper wasn't available until 1857, and by then toilet paper was being sold at 50 cents for 500 sheets. Then, in 1890. perforated toilet paper was introduced and eventually "splinter-free" toilet paper was being manufactured. 

How is Toilet Paper made?

Toilet paper is made by debarking and chipping trees into small pieces. The wood chips are then mixed with chemicals and water in order to produce a slurry. The slurry is then sent to a digester, which is a pressure cooker. The slurry is then cooked, therefore evaporating the moisture, in turn leaving batches of virgin cellulose fibers known as pulp. A yellow adhesive called lignin, which binds fibers together, is then removed by washing the pulp. The clean virgin fiber pulp then undergoes a bleaching process in order to remove all the color. The white pulp is then mixed with water, in order to create a mixture that contains 99.5% water and 0.5% fiber. In order to drain most of the water, the paper mixture is then sprayed on moving mesh screens. From the screens, a wide sheet of fiber will be produced, it will then be sent through a Yankee Dryer, which is a large heated cylinder. In the Yankee Dryer, the sheet of fiber will be pressed and dried so that there is only a 5% moisture content.  The sheet is then made soft and wrinkled through the process of creping. During the creping process, the paper is scraped from the Yankee Dryer with a metal blade in order to make wide sheets. The sheets are then wound into big rolls and sent into converting machines. The paper is then unwound, slit and then rewound onto long and thin cardboard tubing, creating a paper log. The big paper logs are then cut into rolls and wrapped in packaging. 

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