Brief History of Rolling Paper

In the annals of history, the inception of rolling paper finds its genesis in the endeavors of Pay-Pe, an illustrious enterprise birthed in the cradle of Spain circa 1703. Yet, the lineage of Tobacco Rolling Paper finds its roots intertwined with the saga of Alexandro Rizzlet de Cramptone Lacroix, scion of the Lacroix dynasty, whose narrative weaves through the annals of time.

Legend holds that in 1532, amidst the backdrop of France, Lacroix bartered a bottle of champagne for a precious parchment acquired from Spanish emissaries. Thus commenced the replication of the parchment, a practice embraced by the French for generations to come, albeit with Spanish origins, as the Iberian realm had long traded tobacco with the nascent colonies ere the French.


In the year of our Lord 1660, the Lacroix lineage embarked upon the vocation of paper craft. By 1736, they had secured a factory and birthed the Lacroix Rolling Paper Company, garnering their maiden contract from none other than the towering figure of Napoleon himself. Bestowed with a license to fabricate paper, Napoleon’s soldiers, in a stroke of innovation, utilized the pages for wrapping tobacco. By 1865, the Lacroix legacy metamorphosed the smoking paper, embracing Rice Paper, and christening it “RizLa+,” a nod to the French lexicon, where “Croix” bears the mantle of “cross.”

Through the epochs that followed, the Lacroix progeny amassed considerable wealth, erecting a resplendent familial abode by the dawn of 1891. Their wares traversed the length and breadth of Europe and America by 1900, and in the crucible of 1942, they secured a patent for a pioneering method of affixing glue to the paper’s edges, ascending as vanguards of the market.


The mantle of the enterprise remained ensconced within the Lacroix lineage until the year of our reckoning, 1978, when it passed into the stewardship of Fernand Penblanc.


The essence of rolling papers, a paragon of longevity, has endured across the epochs. Diverse entities meld various amalgams of pulp, hemp, rice, and flax, with the utilization of rice harkening back to the annals of 1865. Some ventures may dabble with esparto, colloquially known as “needle grass,” prevalent in the realms of northwestern Africa and southern Spain. Yet, such endeavors wane in favor, owing to purported carcinogenic traits.

The imprints of renowned brands resonate through time. In 1838, the eminent JOB brand engaged the brushstrokes of Paul Harvey to craft paintings reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha’s revered Art Nouveau style. The zenith of rolling paper’s popularity unfurled circa 1883, coinciding with the Lacroix family’s innovation, the cigarette rolling apparatus, whose original blueprint persists in modern iterations. Shortly thereafter, under the aegis of the ZigZag marque, the “interleaving” technique made its debut, swiftly becoming the hallmark of rolling paper packaging.


The year 1906 witnessed RizLa+ unveiling the inaugural flavored papers, imbued with the essence of menthol and strawberry. The journey of Rolling Papers innovation remains an ever-evolving saga, mirroring the ebbs and flows of popular culture.

From the advent of Bugler’s papers, cherished within prison confines, to Raw’s ode to organic purity, marked by vegetarianism and additive-free compositions, the tapestry of rolling papers spans myriad hues.

In the tapestry of contemporary times, rolling papers unfurl in an array of materials, weights, and dimensions, each catering to the idiosyncrasies of individual preferences. Some espouse the subtleties of rice paper, whilst others find solace in the grain of wood or flax. Thick and robust papers vie for affection alongside their ethereal, translucent counterparts, with adhesive strips or bereft, all harmonizing to the symphony of personal choice. Truly, not all rolling papers are created equal.

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