Many crafters and painters are curious about sandpapers, sanding tools and why we sand a surface to begin with. I thought I would share a little of my Sanding 101 knowledge with you.
So, just what is sandpaper? Sandpaper as we know it today is made of these components: paper or fabric backing, grit, and the adhesive to hold the two together. When rubbed against a surface, sandpaper will smooth rough areas. Sandpaper can be purchased as flat paper, in rolls or belts. It can also be purchased in the form of a sanding block, disc or sponge. I found an article on eHow.com which states that sandpaper can be traced back to 13th century China where it was made of crushed shells, seeds and sand. It wasn’t until 1834 that a patent was processed for the first mass-production assembly, when finely crushed glass particles were used and the product was known as glasspaper! However in 1916, the 3M Company began developing different abrasives for different types of surfaces as well as improvements in backing.