AbstractFor over 2000 years the manual craft of papermaking has been practiced all over the world utilizing a variety of techniques. This review describes the evolution of hand papermaking and its cultural significance. Paper’s evolution has been shaped by the structure and chemical composition of the fibers. Almost every aspect of modern papermaking technology has been foreshadowed by traditional practices. Such practices were passed down for many generations within families of papermakers. The main sources of cellulosic fiber evolved as the ancient craft migrated from its birthplace in China to Korea and Japan, the Islamic world, and then to Europe and America. Though most paper made today comes from automated, continuous production systems, handmade paper has enjoyed a resurgence, both as a traditional craft and as an art-form. In addition, traditional papermaking methods can provide insights to help in modern applications involving cellulosic fibers.