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Old 08-08-2020, 08:42 PM   #4943
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Hemp (and, to a lesser extent, flax and jute) is hard to make into affordable paper before TL4 because of the hurds or shives. With widespread TL4 watermills and windmills to provide the mechanical energy to accelerate the processing of hemp, it became affordable to divert hemp from clothing production to paper production (hemp grows densely and easily on low quality land, so it was always the labor costs that prevented more widespread use of hemp). Roman slave labor, while suitable for cloth fiber production, would have been unsuitable for widespread hemp paper production, as the cost of feeding the slaves alone would not have allowed hemp paper to be cheaper than papyrus.
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