Paper is made from wood, and many of the world’s paper mills are found in those countries which have great forests – Canada, Sweden and Finland.
The newly cut trees are usually stripped of their bark, branches and foliage where they have fallen, so that by the time they arrive at the paper mill they are ready for processing. The tree trunks are first cut into thin strips, mixed with water, and ground to a heavy, sticky pulp. This wood pulp is then cleaned of dirt and other impurities, and also chemically bleached to remove the original brownish colour of the wood. The cleaned and bleached pulp next passes through special kinds of rollers which flatten it and draw it out until, at last, it begins to look like sheets of rather soggy paper. These sheets are finally dried and refined until the finished paper is produced.
High quality paper is further ‘coated’ with clay and other materials to give it a specially smooth, white surface.