It being a lovely Spring day, I have taken off my socks and been walking around barefoot.  Of course, in order to not let my toes be naked, I must paint them.  In some cultures it is improper to show your feet unless your toenails are painted and I am a big fan of this ideal.  Pulling out my collection of nail polishes and make my pick, I then weave a piece of tissue paper between my toes – so that they don’t touch and smudge the polish whilst it dries.  Suddenly, as I am brushing the paint on and complaining that I cannot think of anything to post on my blog, I am giving a suggestion by a sister “Why not talk about the history of tissue paper?”

It was like the floodgates of genius sprang forth from her lips.  (Or IM chat window, since we were chatting online, but I am using an artistic license here).  So, I Wiki’d it and Google’d it and found out much.


First off, the original tissue papers originated (funny that) from Japan.  Western culture first introduction to this actual paper product was in the 17th century.  However, the first mass produced by an American Company, Kimberly-Clark, in 1924.  Man, it took us a while to get onboard with this paper tissue thing, didn’t it?  It was called Kneenex and was originally used to remove cold cream and other make-ups.  From there, it moved to being used as a disposable form of nose-wiping.  Starting in 1928, Kleenex got the idea to make facial tissue paper fun by making colored or painted/printed tissue papers and from there we have seen where it has gone.


How is this magical nose-clean material made?  Let us see…

In modern days, most (if not all) of tissue papers are made from paper pulp (also known as paper juice, oil, and grease). which comes directly from wood fibers.  According to “Tissue papers are made from a combination of hardwood…and softwood pulps[s] obtained from pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, larch, aspen and birch” (  Who knew we crammed so much wood up our nostrils?

From there, the pulp is crumpled, crinkled, flattened and glued together at special factories with special machines that serve the very special purpose of making soft little hankies for our noses.

Interesting fact, back in ye olde dayz (yes, with a Z) we did not put so much effort in making tissues.  Rather, we simply took a piece of thin wood and ran it through three pressure rollers – which were also used to make paper for printing and writing and other such hobbies – until it was soft and flimsy enough to use on our faces.  Many factories still use the “calenders” system, but for other things such as rubbers and fabrics.


Learn something new everyday.