Valencian bookbinders today: the survival of an ancient craft arrived in the XXI century. Yore, Valencia was one of the major producers of paper and occupations like the one of the binder were highly valued. Today there are only a few.
Several crafts have disappeared over the time or have become rarities: blacksmiths, rope makers, espadrille… Others continue to exist, but are in decline and disappear. This is the case of bookbinders, some of which remain looking for new business opportunities.
Most of them are family businesses and face generation renewal. Many of them will not continue after retirement artisan: “My workshop started with me -and with the help of my wife- and I think it will end with me.”
Pedro Domínguez Luna, bookbinder and president of the Provincial Association of Artisans of Castellón, expresses: “None of our two children appear to work, they have already studied and have their working towards”, explains. The challenge? The fact of adapting to new technologies and to seek new business facets. According to Domínguez Luna, “new technologies are necessary and we should adapt to them. The design is necessary especially for being on the market”.
Domínguez has created the Cartoné Disseny brand, under which he markets gift boxes and other innovative products, with papers drawn up by himself “with the techniques of marbling, glue acrylics and also using Italian and Hungarian papers”.
Xàtiva: the cradle of European paper. Although the crafts linked to the role are now in decline in our land, the Kingdom of Valencia has been historically linked do this product. For example, there is a museum of paper in Banyeres de Mariola (Alicante) -the unique of the autonomous region- and in Valencia, in 1474, the first literary book of the Iberian Peninsula was printed in the press of Lambert Palmar t (it was written in Valencian).
In addition, the first paper mill was probably in Xàtiva (Valencia) in the XI century. From there, the paper would spread to the rest of Europe. Thus, Xàtiva was a leader in the manufacture in the Crown of Aragón, as the Californian historian Robert I. Burns in his book “Society and documentation in Crusader Valencia”.
In fact, as Josep Lacreu explained to Sibarita News , head of the Unit for Linguistic and Technical Resources of the AVL, the word “paper” such as Spanish or Portuguese, according to the theories linguist Joan Coromines probably comes from the Valencian word also “paper”, according to the theories of the linguist Joan Coromines.