The basis of paper is cellulose. Cellulose can be found in most plant fibres but the best quality fibres are found in cotton and rags and this material was traditionally used in the manufacture of paper.
Rags were often bought from a local rag merchant and then brought to the mill rag house. This area was staffed by women who picked out buttons and foreign objects before sending the rags to the beaterhouse where they were turned into pulp.
In the beaterhouse the rags were beaten by water powered stampers which turned the rags into pulp
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