The famous Samarkand paper is again made in a traditional way at a mill built in the village Konigil Meros, which is ten kilometres away from Samarkand on the road leading to Bukhara. A revival of paper-making art in Uzbekistan happened thanks to well-known Mukhtarov brothers.
For centuries Samarkand was famous for its textile, carpets and paper. Paper also played an important role in making Samarkand a world-famous trade road of the Great Silk Road. The paper made in Samarkand and in China forced out from the market various types of Egyptian paper and leather. It was first in quality and cheapness in the Medieval East.
During the reign of Amir Timur, Samarkand paper making still continued to be one of the main branches of handicrafts. There were 42 papermaking centres in Samarkand and the neighbouring areas. Silk, cotton and mulberry bark were used as a raw material.
However, at the end of the 18th century, the Samarkand paper-making gradually began to fade and only at the end of the 20th century it was possible to revive and restore the technology of Samarkand paper-making.
The paper mill is located in the village of Konigil and the place of the mill is very picturesque due to the river, shady trees, a small café which offers fruits and traditional plov for visitors.
Samarkand paper has a typical yellow colour and it is not bleached with chemicals. Mulberry bark is used as a raw material. The visitors get the opportunity to see how the ancient hand-made paper mill is functioning. It is also possible to make your own paper by having an appointment in advance. The mill also makes postcards, note pads, dresses, dolls and handbags, which can be also bought in a factory shop.
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