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Bookmarks became invaluable thing when books were pinted. Books were handwritten firslty and were only accessible for the nobility along with the clergy. They might be the only real people that could read during those times. Combined with printing press invention with the 15th century, the necessity for the bookmarks grew because prodcution in the books began.
You will find records that report that Queen Elizabeth I had been assigned a silk mark through the Queens' printer. It had not been really for another hundred years or so the general population began understanding how to read and, even today not everyone is able to read. The early bookmarks were simply strips of parchment, that was inserted into the book at the place where the reader had educate yourself to. The color and shapes in the bookmarks would have been a variety kinds.
Books were stated in the 18th and 19th centuries with fixed one. These were usually a thin silk ribbon that was attached to the book on top of the spine and for a specified duration to protrude through the book for simple access. The color in the ribbons varied. Some books had many fixed one. Removable, detachable or separate bookmarks were first introduced within the mid 19th century.
These were still predominantly created from silk, but with more patterns. Paper or card ones appeared about 30 years later. Just after, the boom in separate bookmark acceptance occurred. These were created from card, paper, wood, metal leather and just about any material that could accept a pattern or picture or some adornment. There are numerous bookmarks from this era preserved in both private and public collections.
Modern of them are created from a much larger variety of materials than the usual century ago. Many experts have thought that the necessity for the written word available as books will decline as computers become history. However, this trend apparently not yet shown itself inside a decline in book sales. As books can be purchased, readers will still the common-or-garden bookmark.
You can purchase bookmarks created from wood, laminated leaves, copper, aluminum, card, ribbon, fiberglass, plastic, metals, silk, textiles, leather and just about any material that could be produced thinly enough, so that when used in the sunday paper, it does not cause harm. Many bookmarks have adornments, in particular the they made from textiles, like angels and also other figurines attached that protrude from the bottom of it and making it easier to grab the ribbon.
Get yourself one that you like and browse away! They will give you easier!