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Examples of its use include absorbing the excess ink left on parchment after writing with a fountain pen, removal of excess lipstick or facial oils in cosmetic testing, or removal of excess dye after staining.
Blotting is frequently necessary when using dip pens and occasionally when using fountain pens. This was first done by sprinkling pounce over the wet ink. Blotting paper is reputed to be first referred to in the English language in the 1400s but there is a tradition in Norfolk, England that it was invented by accident at Lyng Mill on the river Wensum. This may be wrong as this was expressly a paper mill until about 1830, although it is clear that it did make paper before this time as it was referred to as Mr Hamerton's mill and there are many texts describing it as a paper mill in the 18th Century. However, the process of making blotting paper in bulk rather than by hand may be what was created at Lyng.
Certain drugs, most notably LSD, are distributed on blotting paper. A liquid solution of the drug is applied to the paper, which commonly is perforated into individual doses and artfully decorated.