History of Rubber Stamping - Paper

Last Updated 10/14/09

by Debbie Hamman

The most widely used surface to stamp on is paper. Since papermaking became uniform in 105AD, it has continued to multiply in use.

In the USA today, over billions of tons of paper are consumed. Newsprint, wrapping paper, currency, photo copies, computer printer paper, business and greetings cards and notebook paper all are used.

Greeting cards and postcards were among the first different uses of paper besides newsprint and those for books. Hallmark, with its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, made them more available to the general public in the late 1800's.

Calling cards came next. They were first created in France as a way of leaving notice to a host that you were there. The host as was the custom picked up all the cards from the event so that they could write thank you cards. In the mid -nineteenth century, the practice came to America. In the book CALLING CARDS from Hearst Books, contain some beautiful examples of early calling cards. These would inspire any rubber stamp artist.

Every gentleman caller had a portfolio of calling cards. You could not date the lady until you presented your card at the door. Certainly times have changed.

Business cards have replaced calling cards to some degree. Stamping out your card makes them individual and unique. The newest trick is trading cards, with a decorative front and information on the back. The size is that of a business card. Next time you see for a swap for trading cards (or TC for short) try and make some.

Postcards were originally hand drawn and introduced in the early 1800's. Photos were added after the camera was invented. Rubber stamped postcards, which were begun in the early 1960's, has continued to grow in popularity.

Today rubber stamp artists have done amazing things with paper. Handmade paper, cardstock, construction paper, vellum, parchment paper and other specialty papers are plentiful in everyone's collection. Collage artists have paper stashes galore.

Besides the single sheet of paper, stamp artists can stamp on envelopes, which were first introduced by Louis XIV of France in 1706. Back then; envelopes were always sold with instructions on how to seal them with wax.

Journals and memory albums make excellent places to stamp. A new technique, which was introduced 10 years ago, is altered books. Take old worn out books from used book stores, flea markets, and yard sales, and collage the inside pages. Look for examples on various website.

Storing Paper

Paper must breathe or it will fade and wither away. Remember it was once a living tree. The scrapbooking crafters have driven the industry to produce acid free paper to preserve the photos in albums.

The worse thing to happen to your paper is exposure to sunlight. This causes the paper to yellow. Sunlight also causes the ink to discolor when stamped. Store your paper and swap items in a cool place without much exposure to sun.

Paper should be laid flat when storing it. You can keep it in a filing cabinet, but store in a folder, which is placed flat in place.

Discover new ways to stamp on paper as you play with stamps, inks, chalks, and more. Paper can take you to new heights of stamping excitement.

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