The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


Papermaking is creating paper from pulp. This may be pulp from old paper or any plant or tree, as long as it has got fibres. The fibres are torn, cut or shredded into pieces and soaked in water until it becomes a paste. In a scooping vat the mixture (between 1 and 2% fibres, the rest water) is evenly spread. The papermaker moves a screen in a loose frame (the deckle frame) horizontally through the vat until above the water surface. The pulp remains in the sieve. When most of the water has run out, the sieve is turned around with a pressing movement onto a wet felt cloth (this procedure is called koetsen). This sheet-to-be is covered with a felt cloth, on which a new sheet of freshly scooped paper can be put. When a stack has been formed in this way, it is pressed until all the water has gone. Then the sheets can be hung to dry on lines. When dry, they are once more pressed for at least one day and then the paper can get an after-treatment, like a coating (a layer of glue, to make it suitable for writing in ink) or a colour.



There are still a few people in the Netherlands who can make paper manually in a professional manner. Papermaking as Leo Hoegen practices it, can be seen in his ‘artisanal atelier for papermaking, book printing and  bookbinding’. Leo Hoegen gives workshops. Anyone who want to master the skills extensively, can follow the basic course and the advanced course papermaking and bookbinding.



In China the procedure for making paper developed at the beginning of the second century. Important raw materials were hemp, the bark of mulberry trees, waste silk and fibres from bamboo reeds. Arabs learnt to make paper from Chinese prisoners in the eighteenth century. In Europe paper making is known since the end of the twelfth century. As far as we know, the first paper mill stood in the Southern Netherlands in 1405. After the fall of Antwerp in 1585, a number of papermakers moved to the north. It did not take long before two centres were formed in the north where paper was made: in the northern part of Noord-Holland and the Veluwe, where fast-flowing brooks and man-made wells produced water and driving power for the water mills where the raw materials for the paper, particularly rags, were processed. Ragpickers bought up rags in villages and towns to sell them to paper mills. Around 1800 paper machines came into use. With such machines large rolls of paper were made. In the nineteenth century more and more paper was made mechanically. As of around 1850 paper was made of vegetable materials, like straw and wood. By mechanisation and the associated higher manufacturing speed, and because of the use of less expensive raw materials, paper became much cheaper and thus more accessible for more purposes. Next to mechanically manufactured paper hand-scooped paper was still produced. This paper, made of rags, was used for official purposes. Around 1920 the last departments for hand-made paper were closed in the paper factories.



De Papierderij
Sweder van Zuylenweg 32
3553 HG Utrecht