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China paper distinct from India paper?
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: China paper distinct from India paper?
- From: "Nancy H. Nitzberg" <NNitzberg@COMPUSERVE.COM>
- Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 09:53:44 -0400
- Message-Id: <199805251354.GAA18824@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: On the web at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
To Allison and those interested in China / India / Index paper and other
I would recommend the Dictionary and Encyclopaedia of Paper and
Paper-Making by E.J. Labarre as a wonderful source for many terms,
including those which may have colloquial usage but may not be technicall=
accurate (with explanations if that is so). I have a 1952 edition
(published in the Netherlands by E.J. Labarre, Hilversum and Swets &
Zeitlinger, Amsterdam) which I like for its inclusion of traditional term=
with historical explanations of their derivation as well as technical
descriptions of paper.
About the question posed about China / India / Index paper, for those who=
do not have the above source, it says that "China paper and India (proof)=
paper are indentical. . . the latter has nothing to do with India and the=
use of the word is probably due to the tendency, prevailing down to the
18th Cent. to describe as Indian anything that came from the Far East (cf=
Indian Ink and 'India paper' for hangings, which originally came from
China). . . What is now known as India paper (without the word 'proof')
used for bibles, is quite different.
India proof paper, sometimes abbr. to India or Indian paper, thus causing=
confusion, is really China paper, seeing that the original quality still
comes from there. It is of a straw colour, extremely soft and absorbent,=
unsized, adapts itself to the surface of the steel plate or wood, and soa=
up a large quantity of ink without afterwards smearing. . . Also
frequently called India transfer paper. The name is sometimes loosely
given to other papers of oriental manufacture, and to European and
American. . ."
A separate entry for India paper says, "also known as Oxford India, or
bible paper is a thin, tough, opaque rag paper made (originally) for the
Oxford University Press in imitation of paper from the east, chiefly for
use in bibles. . ." =
The only listing close to "index paper" in Labarre's Dictionary is for
Index board or bristol which is said to resemble a heavy ledger.
The above definitions are consistent with the Roberts, Etherington
dictionary, but have more of the historical background which helps to sor=
out the confusion.
Best wishes on your project,