Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

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Il Papiro, Florence’s paper passion

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When we think of Florence, we think of artists and artisans creating beautiful and eternal works of art and keepseeks.  We envision Renaissance streets lined with charming boutiques with gorgeous wares like resplendent handmade paper in stationary

sets, books, albums and more. For nearly half a century, Florence’s Il Papiro has single-handedly re-invigorated a global passion for paper.

Hand decorated paper is nothing new. Centuries ago in Turkey, artists experimented with water and dye, creating mesmerizing marbleized aqueous art known as ebru painting. In the 17th century,  Louis XIII’s official bookbinder evolved the technique into papier à cuve, a lavish and colourful hand painted paper which in turn, inspired Italian artisans.  

The traditional and highly artisanal process is the same as it was nearly four hundred years ago. The artist selects from twelve colours and scatters each one at a time into a filled basin. In the basin is a chemical mixture that will adhere the colour to the paper sheet. Using an awl, the artist “draws” the colours through the mixture to create the feathering or “peacock” pattern. Once the desired pattern is obtained, a sheet of paper is gently dragged across the top of the colourful mixture. Every finished sheet is entirely unique, thus no paper, nor album, or book is alike. Utilizing these nearly extinct techniques to create the imitable marbleized “peacock” pattern, Il Papiro’s artisans hand craft one-of-a-kind  books, paper and sets into functional works of art. 

ISSIMO has long been an admirer of Il Papiro and its gorgeous artisanal production created from the very best traditions of Italian craftsmanship and we are proud to share on ISSIMO  Il Papiro’s exquisite handcrafted stationery and handbound books.

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