Only a few companies can proudly look back on such a long, uninterrupted tradition. Founded in 1584 we are the oldest German papermakers manufacturing papers for traditional and digital working artists as well as industrial papers. We are celebrating our 431st anniversary as worldmarket leader for Digital FineArt Papers and staying or growing strong in the fields of papers for traditional arts and industrial applications. A great present to our birthday is a mention in “German Standards – Encyclopaedia of German marketleaders”.
At February 27 th, 1584 the Herzog of Braunschweig granted the right to build a papermill to paper making craftsman Merten Spieß. In the following time the “Reylingehäusische Papiermühle” – the first papermill in the surroundings of the mid mountains “Solling”- arose. The papermill was owned by the descendants of Merten Spieß for 185 years until August 1769. Then the mill was sold to the Andrae family, which owned it until 1884. In 1884 the mill was bought by L. Heinemann, who sold it only to years later in 1886 to Carl Hahne. Carl Hahne renamed the mill into “Büttenpapierfabrik Hahnemühle”. In 1902 Hahnemühle was converted into a limited company (GmbH) and merged with Schleicher & Schuell, a company from Düren. In 1927 Schleicher & Schuell became the sole owner of Hahnemühle. At July 1st 2002 Hahnemühle was renamed as Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH. In 2004 Hahnmühle was demerged from Schleicher & Schuell and operates independently since then.
Up to the end of the 19th century Hahnemühle existed as a small manufacturer with less than 15 employees. The main products were finest handmade writing and foolscap papers. Under the leadership of Carl Hahne the production of artist paper and high purity filter paper began and the mill grew up. In the 1920’s there were more than 120 employees.
In the Industrialisation era the production of artist papers became more and more. The first paper machine was a mould made paper machine, installed in the early 1920’s. A Fourdrinier machine follows. Although the production became more and more mechanised, until the 1960’s some of the papers were made completely by hand. In the 1970’s Hahnemühle developed the first acid free and archivable machine made paper. In the late 1990 the first Fine Art Inkjet papers were developed based on traditional artist papers. The highly awarded Digital FineArt Collection is the worldmarket leading paper range today. Galleries, museums and collectors trust in papers “Made in Germany”.
Today Hahnemühle is one of the last paper mills which produced high quality artist’s papers and high purity filter papers for various purposes. Hahnemühle’s Digital FineArt Collection is the world market leader in the high quality inkjet paper segment. It’s a unique that Hahnemühle produces its paper at the same place for 430 years.
Enjoy our video on papermaking in the old days with historical copperplate etchings by O.Kirchgraber.