The Amalfi Paper made by hand in the “Valle dei Mulini” was in the past one of the main occupations of the Amalfi people. The production of the Amalfi Paper begins between the XII and XIII century. To import the paper in the West were presumably the Arabs who had learned them the processing techniques from the Chinese. The people of Amalfi, for centuries in close contact with the ports of the eastern Mediterranean, proved to be quite skilled in acquiring this art, thus giving rise to the production of paper in Amalfi. This activity proved to be very fruitful and the people of Amalfi had everything they needed to become true experts, from raw materials to energy to make paper mills work. In an era where electricity did not yet exist, the hydraulic energy obtained from the Canneto river proved to be much more useful.
The manufacturing process of Amalfi Paper was made up of various phases. The raw material was compacted from rags, usually cotton, linen or hemp cloths, which were placed in special stone basins, called fleece. The rags of cloth collected in the fleece were then shredded and transformed into mush by means of a series of wooden hammers, at the end of which iron nails were placed. The nails were at the ends and were of various sizes, depending on the weight and thickness of the sheets of paper that had to be obtained. Once prepared, the pulp was collected in a masonry vat into which the shape was then lowered. The pulp then attached to it and was then transferred onto special felt cloths, creating a stack of sheets pressed by a wooden press to eliminate all the excess water. Once the drying process was over, the refined Amalfi paper was born, on which the producer’s watermark stood out, which the iron frame indelibly impressed on the pulp collected in the vat, by simple pressure. composed in turn of a dense network of bronze or brass wires.
With the passing of the centuries, more and more refined tools were introduced, but the process has remained basically the same, bringing to this day the beauty and prestige of Amalfi’s handmade paper.