Paper was a fairly expensive commodity in Western Europe during period, authors and artists preferring parchment and vellum. The earliest form of paper was papyrus, made from the pith of a wetland plant. It saw widespread use in Mediterranean areas, and was used by the Byzantine empire until the 12th century. The technology for producing paper from fabric rags was transmitted to Europe from China, via the Middle East. Paper manufacture is time and resource consuming, and only gained prominence in Europe during the Renaissance. Paper in medieval Europe was typically made of linen rags - wood pulp paper is a development of the 19th century.
- Dard Hunter (1978) Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft, Dover Publications (reprint)
- Jonathan Bloom(1978) Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic world, Yale University Press 2001 (reprint)