The following article was sourced from a Wikipedia page at the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper
Toilet paper is a tissue paper product primarily used for the cleaning of the anus to remove faecal material after defecation or to remove remaining droplets of urine from the genitals after urination, and acts as a layer of protection for the hands during this process. It is typically sold as a long strip of perforated paper wrapped around a paperboard core, to be stored in a dispenser adjacent to a toilet. Most modern toilet paper in the developed world is designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas some other bathroom and facial tissues are not. Toilet paper can be one-, two- or three-ply, or even thicker, meaning that it is either a single sheet or multiple sheets placed back-to-back to make it thicker, softer, stronger and more absorbent.
The use of paper for such hygiene purposes has been recorded in China in the 6th century AD, with specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century. Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.
Different names, euphemisms and slang terms are used for toilet paper in countries around the world, including "bumf," "bum wad," "loo roll/paper," "bog roll," "toilet roll," "dunny roll/paper," "bathroom/toilet tissue," "TP," "arsewipe," "shit tickets" (used informally by soldiers of the United States Army), and also simply "tissue."
Although paper had been known as a wrapping and padding material in China since the 2nd century BC, the first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China. In 589 AD the scholar-official Yan Zhitui (531–591) wrote about the use of toilet paper:
"Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes".
During the later Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked:
"...they [the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper."
During the early 14th century, it was recorded that in modern-day Zhejiang province alone there was an annual manufacturing of toilet paper amounting in ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper each. During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), it was recorded in 1393 that an annual supply of 720,000 sheets of toilet paper (two by three feet in size) were produced for the general use of the imperial court at the capital of Nanjing. From the records of the Imperial Bureau of Supplies of that same year, it was also recorded that for Emperor Hongwu's imperial family alone, there were 15,000 sheets of special soft-fabric toilet paper made, and each sheet of toilet paper was even perfumed.
Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or hemp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used, and, after use, placed back in a pail of vinegar. Several talmudic sources indicating ancient Jewish practice refer to the use of small pebbles, often carried in a special bag, and also to the use of dry grass and of the smooth edges of broken pottery jugs (e.g., Shabbat 81a, 82a, Yevamot 59b). These are all cited in the classic Biblical and Talmudic Medicine by the German physician Julius Preuss (Eng. trans. Sanhedrin Press, 1978).
The 16th-century French satirical writer François Rabelais, in Chapter XIII of Book 1 of his novel-sequence Gargantua and Pantagruel, has his character Gargantua investigate a great number of ways of cleansing oneself after defecating. Gargantua dismisses the use of paper as ineffective, rhyming that: "Who his foul tail with paper wipes, Shall at his ballocks leave some chips." (Sir Thomas Urquhart's 1653 English translation). He concludes that "the neck of a goose, that is well downed" provides an optimum cleansing medium.
In many parts of the world, especially where toilet paper or the necessary plumbing for disposal may be unavailable or unaffordable, toilet paper is not used. Also, in many parts of the world such as India, people consider using water a much cleaner and more sanitary practice than using paper. Cleansing is then performed with other methods or materials, such as water, for example using a bidet, a lota, rags, sand, leaves (including seaweed), corn cobs, animal furs, sticks or hands; afterwards, hands are washed with soap.
AS A COMMODITY
Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty's paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty's Medicated Paper was sold in packages of flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor's name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline "The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty's medicated paper for the water-closet."
Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883.
Moist toilet paper was first introduced in the United Kingdom by Andrex in the 1990s, and in the United States by Kimberly-Clark in 2001 (in lieu of bidets which are rare in those countries.) It is designed to clean better than dry toilet paper after defecation, and may be useful for women during menstruation.
More than seven billion rolls of toilet paper are sold yearly in the U.S. alone. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita per year.
Toilet paper is available in several types of paper, a variety of patterns, decorations, and textures, and it may be moistened or perfumed, although fragrances sometimes cause problems for users who are allergic to perfumes. The average measures of a modern roll of toilet paper is ~10 cm (3 15/16 in.) wide, ø 12 cm (4 23/32 in.) and weighs about 227 grams (8 oz.). An alternative method of packing the sheets uses interleaved sheets in boxes, or in bulk for use in dispensers. 'Hard' single ply paper has been used as well as soft multi-ply.
Quality is usually determined by the number of plies (stacked sheets), coarseness, and durability. Low grade institutional toilet paper is typically of the lowest grade of paper, has only one or two plies, is very coarse and sometimes contains small amounts of embedded unbleached/unpulped paper. Mid-grade two ply is somewhat textured to provide some softness and is somewhat stronger. Premium toilet paper may have lotion and wax and has two to four plies of very finely pulped paper. If it is marketed as "luxury", it may be quilted or rippled (embossed), perfumed, coloured or patterned, medicated (with anti-bacterial chemicals), or treated with aloe or other perfumes.
In order to advance decomposition of the paper in septic tanks or drainage, the paper used has shorter fibres than facial tissue or writing paper. The manufacturer tries to reach an optimal balance between rapid decomposition (which requires shorter fibres) and sturdiness (which requires longer fibres).
A German quip says that the toilet paper of Nazi Germany was so rough and scratchy that it was almost unusable, so many people used old issues of the Völkischer Beobachter instead, because the paper was softer.
Colour and design
Today, in the United States, plain unpatterned colored toilet paper has been mostly replaced by patterned toilet paper, normally white, with embossed decorative patterns or designs in various colours and different sizes depending on the brand. Coloured toilet paper remains commonly available in some European countries.
An unintended problem with the design of the laminated construction of the sheets in a roll, is that on occasion whilst un-rolling separation occurs between laminations, rather than at the intended interface. Perforations then becomes misaligned and sheets cannot be torn off cleanly. The problem is resolved by careful un-winding of one or more laminations until the perforations re-align.
Another popular activity is called "spitballing" or "wet TP-ing". This involves wadding up a handful of toilet paper, soaking it in water or any other liquid and throwing it at a target, usually the ceiling. The wad of toilet paper is usually adhesive due to its moist state, which causes it to stick to the target for maximum inconvenience.
Toilet paper has been used in physics education to demonstrate the concepts of torque, moment of inertia, and angular momentum; and the conservation of momentum and energy.
More than seven billion rolls of toilet paper are sold yearly in America alone. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita a year. The average American uses 50 pounds (23 kg) of tissue paper per year which is 50% more than the average of other Western countries or Japan. The higher use in the United States may be explained by the fact that other countries people use bidets or spray hoses to clean themselves. Millions of trees are harvested in North and South America leaving ecological footprint concerns. Citizens of many western countries sometimes use toilet paper for industrial purposes such as oil filters, which may distort the use statistics.
As of 2009, between 22% and 48% of the toilet paper used in the United States comes from tree farms in the U.S. and South America, with most of the rest coming from second growth forests, and only a small percentage coming from virgin forests.
To read more about toilet papers, please click on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper