Wrapping paper should not be an afterthought. It’s what you see first when the gift is delivered or is sat beneath the Christmas tree. Wrapping paper is a beautiful, artistic and rich way to show your love. Americans alone spend around $2.6 billion annually on wrapping paper. In Britain, an estimated 226,800 miles of wrapping paper used over the Christmas holidays.
The use of wrapping paper is first documented in ancient China, where paper was invented in 2nd century BC. In the Southern Song dynasty, monetary gifts were wrapped with paper, forming an envelope known as a chih pao. In the Chinese text Thien Kung Khai Wu, Sung Ying-Hsing states that the coarsest wrapping paper is manufactured with rice straws and bamboo fiber.
In Japan, furoshiki, a reusable wrapping cloth, has been around since the Edo period. Korean bojagi dates from the Three Kingdoms Period, possibly as early as the first century A.D. The Victorians used elaborately decorated paper.
In 1917, things altered when Joyce and Ronnie Hall (Hallmark) sold out of tissue and manila papers at their Kansas City, Missouri, stationery store and instead offered the “fancy French paper”used for lining envelopes at $0.10 a sheet. It sold out fast.
A year last the brothers offered the lining paper as gift wrap. By 1919, the brother were selling their own printed wapping paper.
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