The marbling technique originated in China in the eighth century and was imported into Europe at the end of the sixteenth century. The decorated paper was established, as a florentine product, only around the end of the nineteenth century. In the 1920s the influence of Art Nouveau’s floral decorations began to influence a big part of Florentine workmanship. But today there are still realities that show the infinite possibilities of manual creation, creating true masterpieces of originality.
How does it work:
The Florentine paper is made from colors based on ox gall, which with the help of brushes are dripped onto a gelatinous liquid obtained from a marine lichen that allows the color to float.
Once tapped on the surface and spread to stain, the color is worked with sticks and the design is created. To create a wavy effect, an instrument is used to obtain wave, shell, fan, peacock or leaf motifs, typical of the Florentine style.
The artisan applies the sheet on the surface of the water so that the colors adhere to the paper, on which the entire decoration is transferred. The sheet is then removed and placed along a surface in a way to not drip any color and is left to dry.
Today marbled paper is not only produced in Florence but also in Venice and other parts of Italy. The paper is mainly used in the bookbinding but is also wisely used to cover small objects. A famous example in the world is IL Papiro.