Transparent Paper

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Johann Michael Frey (1750–1818) dull traced drawing
same drawing, blackened with charcoal on the reverse and dull traced
Multy color tracing paper - Schoellershammer

Tracing paper is translucent ( transparent ) paper that is made for different purposes and with different processes.


  • as tracing paper for production of exact copies of an original (in the visual arts or for technical drawings, especially in the architecture) (it should not with carbonless paper to be confused)
  • as a template for blueprint processes
  • for packaging purposes
  • technical uses
    • Laboratory applications, for example as a membrane
    • for simple hygrometers
    • previously: as insulating paper in capacitors
  • transparent baking paper
  • Intermediate pages in photo albums (see also spider paper )

Manufacturing methods

  • Tissue papers : They are actually not traditional tracing papers . Since they are made very thin, they appear relatively transparent.
  • Impregnated papers: By impregnating them with drying oils , resins , waxes and fats , paper made from crispy ground fibers is made transparent
  • Vegetable parchment: A paper made of cellulose is dissolved in a sulfuric acid bath. The dissolved cellulose fills the gaps in the paper, making it transparent. The sulfuric acid is washed out again in a final bath.
  • Natural tracing paper: smeary, ground fibers , which are then often additionally impregnated. Due to the greasy grinding, these papers react extremely to fluctuations in humidity.
  • Glassine : The air between the fibers is removed by greasy grinding of the fiber and subsequent extremely strong calendering .


  • Claude Laroque: History and analysis of transparent papers. In: The Paper Conservator. 28: 1 (2004), pp. 17-32.
  • Günter Krickler: The materials of the bookbinder. Schlueter, Hannover 1982, ISBN 3-87706-206-7 .
  • Robert Fuchs: Transparent papers. Determination and restoration. In: paper restoration. 1 (2000), pp. 2-6.
  • Hildegard Homburger, Barbara Korbel: Architectural drawings on tracing paper. Modified restoration procedures. In: Restauro. 7/1998, pp. 462-467.
  • Hans Kotte: A Century: Real Parchment Paper. Emmerich am Rhein 1954, DNB 452548837 .
  • Christa Pieska: The ABC of luxury paper. Production, processing and use 1860 to 1930. Writings of the Museum für Deutsche Volkskunde Berlin, Volume 9. Museum für Dt. Folklore, Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-88609-123-6 .
  • Christine Steinkellner: Transparent paper. In: Restauro. 85/1979, pp. 9-13, 113-117.
  • Gerhard Zahn: Basic knowledge for bookbinders. Focus on individual production. 2. verb. Edition. Verlag Beruf und Schule, Itzehoe 1992, ISBN 3-88013-479-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. Julius Künell: terrain representation. Seidel et al. Sohn, 1866, p. 71 ( limited preview in Google book search).

Web links

Wiktionary: tracing paper  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Transparent paper  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations