The Story of Papermaking
We are inspired by the history of Slovene papermaking, which began nearly 500 years ago in the vicinity of Goričane. This is why we carefully collect, preserve and communicate what we consider to be a priceless legacy. We wish to share it with you by listing the seven milestones that led to the craftsmanship we possess today.
Master papermaker Pankrac produces his first sheet of paper
Baron Janž Khisl, Lord of the Manor of Fužine, is a man with a vision: he decides to convert the corn mill in the village of Spodnja Hrušica into a paper mill. Thus begins the production of the first ever paper in Slovenia. A few precious sheets carrying the watermark of the baron Khisl Family are still kept in the archives. Soon after the baron’s death, the paper mill closes down.
Our story begins by a small creek
A village near Stara Loka, next to a small spring, carrier the name of Papirnica. It is named after its famous former inhabitant, the paper mill (in Slovene: papirnica) from 1740. The archives still treasure samples of the paper produced there in 1741, carrying the watermark with the initials H. S. of its first owner, papermaker Henrik Stiben. In the following decades, the creek-bound papermill becomes too small, and the papermakers turn their sights towards the nearby river Sora.
Welcome to the first Goričane paper mill
Papermaker Johann Schwerer begins the construction of a new paper mill on the Sora river, opposite the picturesque Goričane castle. He is funded by a distinguished merchant with whom he strikes a deal: his debt shall be repaid in paper. Due to enormous demand, the merchant is able to sell every sheet of paper he receives.
Our first paper machine starts to operate
In 1870, the paper mill is bought by Leykam, a corporation from Gradec (in German: Graz), which is subsequently renamed into Leykam-Josefsthal after the wife of the previous owner, Josepha. Then, in the year 1872, a revolution occurs: the paper mill gets its first paper machine with the wire width of 142 centimetres. Soon after, a calender and a warehouse are added.
A pulp factory is built
1890 is a proud year for the Goričane paper mill: a digester is constructed with a volume of 30 cubis metres intended for in-house pulp production. It is the only of its kind on the territory of today’s Slovenia and comes only a few years after the Ritter-Kellner patent for sulfite pulp production. At the time, the paper mill employs 163 workers, who manufacture around 4 tons of printing paper and envelopes, 2 tons of wood pulp and cardboard, and 7 tons of pulp per day.
Difficult times make us stronger
World War I is followed by the Great Depression. Global production of paper is increasing, and the price of paper is falling. The Goričane factory is repurposed for pulp production exclusively – in 1931, our first paper machine is shut down forever. Employment numbers are down to 146 workers, 3 administrators and a single master papermaker.
Taking the lead with state-of-the-art technology
The Goričane paper mill makes a grand re-entrance in 1976: in cooperation with Andritz, a state-of-the-art paper machine is constructed under the Escher-Wyss licence. With the speed of 350 m/min and the wire width of 4100 mm, it is capable of producing 20,000 tons of highest-grade wood-free papers per year. This is only the first of many modernisations that place Goričane firmyl among Europe’s technologically most advanced and greenest paper mills.
Change of name
The company changes its name to Goričane, tovarna papirja Medvode, d.d. (Goričane, Medvode paper mill, Ltd.).
On 17 June 2006, after a 17-day standstill, the demanding period of installing new equipment came to an end. The purpose of the investment into new equipment was to increase the quantity and quality of the paper. Our production line was modernised in all aspects with the latest technological, technical, computer and process technology. The total cost of the investment exceeded €15 million.
The first major investment into energy in 40 years is made – a new Bosch steam boiler is installed.