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Cai Lun Improved the Papermaking Technology

Cai Lun paper

It was recorded in the history of Later Han of the fifth-century that Marquis Cai Lun of the Eastern Han Dynasty used inexpensive materials such as tree, hemp ends, tattered cloth, and broken fishing nets to make paper. This paper was used daily and was popularly known as Cai Lun Paper. From then on paper began to replace bamboo or wood strips and silk for writing.

Archaeological discoveries reveal, however, that in the early Western Han Dynasty, or two hundred years earlier than the time of Cai, a coarse paper made of hemp had already come into existence.

Whether or not Cai was the actual inventor of paper, he deserves the place of honor he has been given in Chinese history for his role in developing a material that revolutionized his country.

For papermaking, Cai earnestly summarized predecessors' experiences and improved the technology .Cai first used bark to make paper, which largely enhanced the paper's output, because the dark's material is richer than hemp.

Cai Lun paper was light and thin, strong and inexpensive, and could be mass-produced.

Cai's contribution is considered as one of the most important inventions in history, since it enabled China to develop its civilization much faster than with earlier writing materials (primarily bamboo), and it did the same with Europe when it was introduced to the continent in the 12th or 13th century.