Tissue paper comes in a wide range of sizes and weights and has a multitude of uses, from the craft market to packaging and gift wrapping as well as toilet tissue, facial tissues, floristry applications and much more. Made from paper pulp, today it is predominantly manufactured from FSC certified and / or recycled materials and is both biodegradable and full recyclable. It is a lightweight paper commonly available in 14-18gsm weight and usually either as an MG (machine glazed) or MF (machine finished) which is considered a higher quality paper, having a smooth glossy finish applied to both sides during manufacture, whereas the MG paper will have only a single side glazed. Most tissue paper produced today for the craft market and packaging industry will be neutral ph. or acid free, which is important if using for protection or conservation work. Whilst colourfast tissues are available, most of the cheaper papers will be manufactured with water based inks which are environmentally friendly but will allow the colour to bleed, so white (unbleached) tissue will always be the safest to use for long term storage. Our metallic tissue papers are printed both sides as opposed to dyed in the pulp, and give a luxury feel and high end look to the product and are perfectly safe for gift wrapping or lining of gift boxes.
Whilst paper manufactured from plant based material, as opposed to papyrus or animal derived parchment, is known to have been around since at least the second century AD in China and became widely available in the western world by the 15th century it is thought that the tissue papers used today for the floristry, craft and packaging market probably evolved following the invention of toilet tissue by Joseph Gayetty in 1857. Sadly the last British tissue paper mill manufacturing tissue for the craft and packaging market closed over 20 years ago.
As an aside the rise in popularity of coloured bathroom suites during the 1950s – 1980s gave rise to mills producing coloured toilet tissue to coordinate with the coloured suites, unfortunately the coloured die from the paper was considered to be one of the biggest river pollutants of the time and the fashion for coloured bathrooms has disappeared, hence why we now only see white toilet tissue?