Where did the wrapping paper come from?

Why we wrap gifts

The time of the big swaddling begins these days: But since when have we been wrapping gifts? And does working with scissors and tape really have an effect? A brief history of gift wrapping

During the Christmas season, the paper comes to itself: the Chinese hardly had the material in the 2nd century BC. Invented at that time, it was also used to wrap gifts - such as a bronze mirror that was found in a tomb from the early Han dynasty in Shaanxi Province. It was only later that paper was also discovered as a writing material. Certain messages were still handed over wordlessly wrapped in paper: for example those envelopes called "Chih Pao", which were used to discreetly send banknotes to the emperor's court around 1200 in the Song dynasty.

At that time, the production of paper via Arabia also spread to Europe. Italians and Spaniards succeeded in machine production of the fabric in the 13th century. Around 1580, the first cardboard was made from stuck together scraps of paper. Initially, however, they were not used for gift boxes, but for book covers. Manufactories produced the first cardboard boxes in the early 18th century.

Wrapping paper increases the appreciation of the gift

The buyers kept hats, jewelry, decorative collars and the like in them. At that time, many shopkeepers were already wrapping the goods they sold in brown wrapping paper. In 19th century Victorian England, the bourgeoisie began wrapping Christmas presents in printed paper; The custom reached the mass market at the beginning of the 20th century.

A marketing professor at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas examined in 1992 whether working with scissors, tape and adhesive tape was worth it - and confirmed: Whoever wraps gifts increases the recipient's appreciation of the gift. And the effort doesn't have to take long: Hilary Wymer, the British world record holder in quick packaging, needed just 19.7 seconds in 2005 to accurately hide a bound A4 book in paper and attach a ribbon .

Great moments in packaging history

Ulman Stromer, a wholesaler from Nuremberg, has the first paper mill north of the Alps built on the Pegnitz.

The Brooklyn-based paper bag manufacturer Robert Gair is developing a machine that can punch and crease cardboard boxes in a single operation - thus establishing the folding box industry.

Richard Drew, an employee of the sandpaper manufacturer 3M, invents the transparent adhesive tape - originally developed for closing cellophane packaging.

On the banks of the Rhine in the port of Cologne, the married couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped stacked paper rolls - and thus began their joint global career as packaging artists.