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Toilet and facial tissue are something that most of us take for granted, but many may be surprised to learn they are actually relatively new inventions. However, while white toilet paper itself dates back less than a century, there is a much longer record of humans relying on paper for personal cleansing.
It perhaps comes as little surprise that the Chinese, credited with first developing the pulp papermaking process more than 2000 years ago, are also believed to be the first to use paper for personal cleansing. The first recorded use of toilet paper dates back to 6th century China. During the Tang Dynasty, three hundred years later, an Arab traveler in the region commented that the Chinese do not wash with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper.