As early as the second century, the Chinese knew the art of paper making. The Muslims learned it from the Chinese in the 8th century, made improvements and developed paper making from an art into an industry.
The world's first first paper mill was thus established in Samarqand in 751. The papermill was water-powered and linen or flax was used as raw material. Trip Hammers, powered by water wheels, were used to pound the raw materials. Soon after the establishment of the papermill in Samarqand, many more paper mills were established in Baghdad during the 8th century due to the high demand of books . From there, paper mills began being established in other parts of the world. Europe had its first paper mill established in Italy in 1261. Paper thus started replacing the costly parchment, papyrus and wood that were earlier being used for writing.