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Tissue Agorà Blog

Posted By:Aug 25, 2015

Toilet paper was first used by the Chinese about 1300 years before it caught on with the rest of the world. The first references of people using toilet paper dates back to the 6th century AD in the Chinese Imperial courts and amongst the other wealthy citizens of China. This eventually spread throughout China and by the 14th century there was an annual manufacturing of around ten million packages of toilet paper in the Zhejiang province alone.

This however, did not catch on with the rest of the world for some time. Indeed, a Muslim traveler to China in the 8th century noted “They (the Chinese) are not careful about cleanliness, and they do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper.” It wouldn’t be until the late 1800s when toilet paper would be introduced in America and England and it wasn’t until the 1900s, around the same time the indoor toilet became common, that toilet paper would catch on with the masses.

So what did people use before toilet paper? What was popular depended greatly on region, personal preference, and wealth. Rich people often used hemp, lace, or wool; poor people often would poop in rivers and clean off with water, rags, wood shavings (ouch!), leaves, hay, rocks, sand, moss, sea weed, apple husks, seashells (Demolition Man much?), ferns, and pretty much whatever else was at hand and cheap/free.

The Ancient Romans favorite wiping item, including in public restrooms, was a sponge on a stick that would sit in salt water and be placed back in the salt water when done… waiting for the next person… *shudders* (kind of brings new meaning to the saying “the wrong end of the stick”)

Ancient Greeks were a little more sanitary, using stones and pieces of clay. America’s favorite wiping item tended to be corn cobs and, later, Sears and Roebucks, Farmers Almanac, and other catalogs. The Farmers Almanac even came with a hole in it so it could be easily hung in bathrooms for just this purpose.

The 16th century French writer Francois Rabelais, in his work Gargantua and Pantagruel, notes that after pooping paper was useless, “Who his foul tail with paper wipes, shall at his ballocks leave some chips.” He instead recommended that “the neck of a goose, that is well downed” worked best.

In India and other middle eastern countries, even today, the preferred method is to wipe using nothing but your left hand and water and then, of course, wash your hand well afterward and don’t handle any food or the like with your left hand; as such, people who are left handed tend to be forced to become right handed early on in those regions.

For seaman, the common thing was to use old frayed anchor cables (seriously, how their butt’s survived, we may never know). The Inuit’s and other peoples living in frigid regions tended to go with clumps of snow to wipe with, which, other than the coldness factor, is actually one of the better options it seems compared to many other of the above methods.

Around 1857, Joseph Gayetty came up with the first commercially available toilet paper in the United States. His paper “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet” was sold in packages of flat sheets that were moistened and soaked with aloe (about 130 years ahead of his time as it wasn’t until the 1990’s that toilet paper companies started doing this again). Gayetty’s toilet paper sold for about 50 cents a pack, with 500 sheets per pack. This wasn’t terribly popular, presumably because up to this point most people got their wiping materials for free from whatever was at hand.

Around 1867, brothers Edward, Clarence, and Thomas Scott, who sold products from a push cart, started making and selling toilet paper as well. They did a bit better than Gayetty, presumably because their original toilet paper wasn’t coated with aloe and moistened, thus was cheaper; rather it was more just rolls of somewhat soft paper (sometimes with splinters). They also had the somewhat innovative idea of putting the names of the companies that were buying the toilet paper on the paper. This wasn’t initially done as a business move to help sell the paper, rather was because they were uncomfortable with having their family name literally soiled. Putting the company names, such as with the Waldorf Hotel, on the toilet paper was a huge hit with the companies they were selling to and helped them stay in business where Gayetty had failed.

As the indoor flushable toilet started to become popular, so did toilet paper. This is not surprising considering there was nothing really to grab in an indoor bathroom to wipe with, unlike outdoors where nature is at your disposal. The age old Farmers Almanac and similar such catalogs also were not well suited for this purpose as in indoor plumbing it tended to clog up the pipes.

A few notable toilet paper innovations that came along were:

  • Rolled and perforated toilet paper made by the Albany Perforating Wrapping Paper Company in 1877 and shortly after the Scott Paper company in 1879.
  • In 1935 Northern Tissue boasted a “splinter free” toilet tissue, which would seem to imply that it was somewhat common for toilet tissue to have the occasional splinter before that due to poor manufacturing techniques of the day.
  • In 1942, St. Andrew’s paper mill in Great Britain introduced two-ply toilet paper.
  • In the 1990’s several toilet paper manufacturers began offering toilet paper treated with aloe, which they called a “great innovation”… as Joseph Gayetty rolls over in his grave.

Bonus Facts:

  • 44% of people wipe from front to back
  • 42% fold the tissue after wiping
  • 33% crumple
  • 8% fold and then crumple
  • 6% wrap it around their hands
  • Johnny Carson once caused a near month long toilet paper shortage in the U.S. in December of 1973. In his show, he said, “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper… There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” Americans promptly went out and bought up every piece of toilet paper they could find. Supermarkets tried to ration it, but to no avail. By noon the next day, pretty much all the nation’s supermarkets were sold out. After several days of toilet paper shortages due to this hysteria, Carson went on the air to try to explain it had been a joke and apologized. But because the shelves were almost always empty of toilet paper at this time, whenever some would come in, people would buy it all and hoard it. This toilet paper shortage lasted a full three weeks.

Source: Today I found out

Posted By:Jul 20, 2015

The group, which is called "Our Response," says the toilet rolls are a way of letting Western governments know that Russians do not respect the sanctions against their country, and showing support for the government's foreign policy, organizer Kirill Kolyasin told the local NGS Omsk site on Saturday.

The idea to produce the toilet rolls first came to Kolyasin last year, but it was only after the EU this month extended its sanctions against Russia until January that his group decided to take the idea more seriously.

Our Response commissioned 1,000 printed rolls with the intention of selling them online at a price of 990 rubles ($18) for a pack of two. The product will come sealed in a plastic casing covered with images of Western leaders, NGS Omsk reported.

The group has also sent their product to the U.S., German and British embassies, the report said.

Posted By:Jul 16, 2015

Sales in the United States of what the industry calls "luxury" rolls — anything quilted, lotioned, perfumed or ultra-soft, from two- to four-ply — climbed to $1.4 billion last year, outpacing all other kinds of toilet paper for the first time in nearly a decade, data from market research firm Euromonitor International show.

The luxury market is one-fourth the size of the standard TP market, but its prominence in Big Wipe is growing faster than many industry watchers expected. Luxury toilet paper sales have grown more than 70 percent since 2000, and they're expected to keep growing faster than all other categories every year through at least 2018.

"Higher growth is expected out of the luxury segment as the improved economy allows consumers to satisfy their desire for comfort," Euromonitor analysts wrote in a recent industry report about toilet paper's "increasing premiumisation." "While the idea of ... luxury toilet paper may be slightly odd, (its) performance suggests otherwise."

This style of bath tissue offers a far different kind of luxury than, say, a $17,000 watch: It's the same ol' stuff, just thicker, softer and more absorbent than other rolls. Though it's a little pricier, analysts said, nearly everyone can still afford it, making it a surprising barometer for how confident Americans are that they can afford a minor splurge.

Before last year, luxury toilet paper's sales growth last beat out the other rolls in 2000 and 2005, both boom years for the U.S. economy and consumer spending. The luxury toilet paper business is expected to grow 9 percent over the next five years, compared with 6 percent for the cheapest "economy" lines.

To compete for the luxury crowd, paper giants are paying heavily to advertise just how luxurious their rolls can be. To promote Cottonelle's new "CleanRipple" design, which spokesperson Bob Brand said would "be a differentiator in the premium bath tissue space," parent company Kimberly-Clark has sprung for TV ads that suggest users of its new high-end blend will be so clean they can "go commando." The firm also paid for reunited boy band New Kids on the Block to play a Cottonelle-sponsored concert last month in New York.

Those appeals to bathroom grandeur seem to be paying off. Sales of the three-ply Quilted Northern Ultra Plush, which last year rolled out improvements to its "silkiness," jumped 30 percent in the United States last year over 2013, said Anna Umphress, a spokeswoman at consumer-goods firm Georgia-Pacific, which makes Quilted Northern and Angel Soft.

The toilet paper maker is pushing more than ever to tailor its offerings more closely to American shoppers. A special line of lavender-scented Angel Soft, for instance, has been targeted to Hispanic buyers, said Vivek Joshi, vice president of Georgia-Pacific's tissue division, for one simple reason: The vast majority of papel confort sold in Mexico is scented. (For the same reason, Charmin unveiled a chamomile-scented toilet paper in August with an endorsement from Ana Patricia González, host of "¡Despierta América!," a morning show on Spanish-language network Univision.)

The struggle for toilet paper chains is convincing shoppers that pricier luxury papers aren't just flushing cash down the toilet. Though even during a recession, analysts said, they saw shoppers who were more than willing to trade up for one of the few indulgences they could afford.

"Even in a down market, people want a little bit of luxury," Umphress said. "They may not be able to take a spa vacation. But they can make their home a little bit more spa-like."

Outside of standard toilet paper, sales of luxury rolls still trail thinner, cheaper economy brands, often bought in bulk for bathrooms in places like schools, malls and gas stations. And in general, toilet paper rolls are shrinking, as paper makers attempt to recoup money lost from dropping sales on other products, like paper towels.

Luxury toilet paper is not without its challenges, of course. It doesn't exactly have the same word-of-mouth power of other high-end purchases. And because it offers mostly superficial benefits, analysts question just how long luxury toilet paper's winning streak can continue.

"Premiumisation is a tool to drive that value, but there are limits to how far that can take you," said Svetlana Uduslivaia, Euromonitor's head of tissue and hygiene. "At the end of the day, for most consumers, toilet paper is toilet paper."

Source: The Washington Post

Posted By:adminJul 1, 2015
Carta e meccanica per la carta, con il loro elevato know-how caratterizzato da innovazione e alta specializzazione, continuano a essere, insieme a numerose altre attività manifatturiere e di servizi legati a tutta la filiera (per lo più del settore metalmeccanico, ma anche di quello elettrico, elettronico e della plastica), i comparti di riferimento per l'economia lucchese, che meglio di tutti gli altri hanno saputo reagire alla crisi.

I settori cartario-cartotecnico e metalmeccanico per la carta nella nostra provincia comprendono complessivamente 120 imprese che, nell'anno 2014, hanno prodotto un fatturato superiore a 4,5 miliardi di euro e dato occupazione a 8.000 unità lavorative, rappresentando da sole oltre il 50% dell'intero fatturato e circa il 30% della forza lavoro industriale dell'intera provincia.

Il punto di forza di queste aziende resta l'alta vocazione all'esportazione che, nel 2014, ha sviluppato vendite all'estero per
1,4 miliardi di euro. Oggi, per essere competitivi, non basta più esportare solo merci, ma bisogna investire e svolgere azioni che favoriscano il radicamento sui mercati esteri. In questo loro sforzo le Pmi si stanno sempre di più organizzando con forme di aggregazione in reti d'impresa, distretti, consorzi, con l'obiettivo di migliorare i progetti di internazionalizzazione.

Questa è anche la strada percorsa da dodici imprese produttrici di macchinari all'avanguardia nelle tecnologie per la carta tissue, con 2.000 addetti, un fatturato di oltre 600 milioni di euro rivolto per il 90% alle esportazioni, che, due anni fa, hanno dato vita a Tissue Italy, il contratto di rete sostenuto fin dalla sua costituzione dalla nostra Associazione.

Tra queste protagoniste assolute di primo piano sono le aziende lucchesi.
La scelta di mettersi in rete è scaturita dalla comune volontà di queste aziende, anche concorrenti tra loro, di evidenziare e
comunicare l'eccellenza che rappresentano in questo settore per diventare punto di riferimento per il mercato globale del tissue.
La prima e principale azione sviluppata dalla rete è stata l'organizzazione dello speciale evento "It's Tissue", che ha avuto il
suo battesimo nel giugno 2013 e ha richiamato a Lucca oltre 700 operatori di tutto il mondo. La manifestazione, giunta quest'anno alla seconda edizione, si è appena conclusa ed ha confermato la sua forte attrazione, più che raddoppiando il numero di visitatori di due anni fa.
Con questa iniziativa, il distretto industriale del tissue ha avuto la capacità di unire le forze e, attraverso una formula davvero
innovativa, che va oltre il concetto di fiera tradizionale, ha dimostrato che, considerandosi parte di un comune destino e di un
comune futuro, è stato possibile affrontare meglio la crisi, perché uniti si è più forti.

Per la manifestazione "It's Tissue", la nostra città rappresenta si può dire un contenitore ideale, paragonabile a una sorta di Expo, del e nel territorio.
Infatti, per una intera settimana, e mi piace sottolinearlo con particolare evidenza, le aziende del comparto sono diventate
protagoniste di un'azione di promozione straordinaria, che ha esaltato le peculiarità della nostra provincia e, al tempo stesso, ne
ha sottolineato i valori di attrazione. In definitiva, con la presenza di numerosi visitatori provenienti da più di settanta paesi, che hanno riempito alberghi, ristoranti, visitato i nostri musei e le nostre ville, fatto acquisti nei negozi non solo del centro, le aziende hanno saputo dar vita a un modello turistico che ben si confà ad una città come la nostra, così ricca di storia, arte e cultura.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Posted By:adminMar 23, 2015

Germany’s economic strength – premised on savings, financial prudence and staying well clear of excessive consumption – extends to the nation’s preferred choice of toilet paper.

Germans practice what they preach, according to data from consumer research brand Euromonitor. It reveals that the majority of toilet tissue sales in Germany during 2014 were of the economy type (the typically thinner, cheaper kind with no frills such as added softness).

Different economic outlook extends to the bathroom

Although Italy is mostly a standard toilet tissue nation, consumption of luxury toilet paper (the triple-quilted kind) counted for 27.3% of the market – a larger slice than economy paper.

In a possible indicator of austerity, however, Italians are cutting down on their use of luxury toilet tissues. The size of the luxury market is expected to be 5.4% smaller in 2019 than was in 2009.

This suggests a lacklustre economic outlook. As it stands, unemployment in Italy currently runs at 12.6% compared to Germany’s 4.7% and worries have been raised that Italy may be hit with “contagion” if Greece exits the Euro currency.

Italy’s situation contrasts with the other five economies analysed, where the luxury share is forecast to see a rise over the next ten years – Germany included.

Economy toilet tissue was also the most popular in Germany’s close partner France, though with a considerably lower market share of 39% ($463.4m).

The UK stands out among the European countries in the survey in that only 5.3% of total toilet paper sales were made up from the cheaper brands, attributable to a stoic commitment to standard (mostly two-quilt) loo roll.

Economy to luxury: what a nation’s quilting reveals

Earlier this month, the Washington Post wrote that the rapid rise in sales of luxury brands showed that the US public was feeling increasingly flush.

Spending on products for short-term use is crucial in revealing how confident a country’s population are in their own economic prospects.

Earlier this month, the Institute for Fiscal Studies theorised that the lack of the usual post-crisis upswing in UK spending on non-durable goods – including food, fuel and certainly toilet paper – suggested that people did not expect the good times to last.

In Germany, luxury, recycled and standard brands are set for erratic growth patterns in future years, according to Euromonitor forecasts. However, the popularity of no-frills economy roll will continue on its pretty constant growth rate of about 2% a year.

The luxury loo roll market in Germany is currently about half the size of the $1bn economy market, but is forecast to grow by more than 15% by 2019.

Those Germans who do decide to shell out for a touch of luxury are set to keep doing so for at least the next couple of years. The value of their luxury toilet paper market is higher than that of the other European countries surveyed.

In other words, Germans are going to keep doing what they are doing – confident in how much they can spend on their bathroom tissue. They know they are not throwing their money down the drain.

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