Paper was invented by a Chinese eunuch named Ts'ai Lun. He was an official at the Chinese Imperial Court and around the year AD105, he presented Emperor Han Ho Ti with samples of paper. He was promoted by the Emperor for his invention and became wealthy. Later he was arrested for matters unconnected with paper and killed himself in prison by taking poison.
For the next 500 years, the Chinese kept paper a secret, which the Koreans finally discovered early in the seventh century. Even then, it was another twelve and a half centuries before wrapping paper began to be made.
The earliest patent for corrugated cardboard for wrapping dates back to 1871, but it quickly became popular. The average European household now produces two tonnes of rubbish a year of which half is packaging, and Americans produce more than three times as much. All the Christmas gift-wrap used in the UK in one year would cover an area equal to that of Guernsey.
America and Japan have a lot to offer anyone seriously interested in paper: the museum at the Research Institute of Paper History and Technology in Brookline, Massachusetts, claims to have 'probably the largest collection of handmade toilet paper in the world', while the paper museum in Asukayama Park, Tokyo has 40,000 exhibits of historic items relating to paper. You will find wrapping paper in exhibit number 12 in Exhibition Gallery 2F.