Brothers Zarif and Islam Mukhtarov opened their workshop in 1996 with the ambition to recreate the traditional techniques of Samarkand paper manufacturing that date back to the 7th century AD. Today, Meros Paper Mill is a unique enterprise in Central Asia, providing restoration services and getting involved in conservation projects. Artisans practising paper-related crafts also use paper made by Meros Paper Mill for their work.
Samarkand paper is made at the workshop with mulberry tree pulp exactly as it was produced hundreds of years ago. It takes a year for the plants to grow before they can be harvested. The bark is removed and the pulp is ground into a paste that can be tinted with natural dyes. It is later formed into sheets of paper which are left to dry for several hours in summer and up to two days in winter. The most challenging stage of the process is the removal of the paper from the drying racks. The resulting sheets are durable and can be used with any type of ink and pigments.