An Interview with Iain Middleton, UK Managing Director, Drewsen Special Papers

Drewsen Special papers - PM5 Huge paper reelWhen Dennis Maps became the print provider for Ordnance Survey (OS), we began using paper produced by Drewsen Special Papers in Germany.

Drewsen began producing paper in the early 16th century, and specialise in the manufacture of a range of uncoated, wood-free speciality papers, all of which are sold worldwide.

We use various sizes of Drewsen’s Progeo 90gsm LC1 paper, a paper with long fibres that is ideal for the production of folded maps. Its quality ensures that Dennis Maps meets the very high standards set by its clients.

We asked Iain Middleton, UK Managing Director of Drewsen Special Papers, to tell us a little about the company and his role:

Drewsen was founded in 1538. How do you account for the company’s continued success over such an extraordinary period of time?

482 years certainly is an extraordinarily long time. We are a family-owned business which has been well-managed, and one which has been a part of the Schürfeld group of companies for over 60 years.

DREWSEN’s strength is its product diversity which includes security, technical, fine and packaging grade papers. Constant product development and a good understanding of the changing markets has enabled us to adapt quickly to customer needs and provide effective bespoke solutions.

How did you become involved with a business based in Germany, and how does the geographical location affect your working life?

Administration building - DrewsenAfter my training at a paper mill I joined a London-based publishing paper merchant who, several years later, was acquired by a German paper mill. Fast forward 13 years and I joined DREWSEN who I have been with for almost 29 years.

The UK sales office, which is now based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, is on the main railway line out of London Euston and also close to home. It is also within easy access of the M25, M1 and M40, and 30 minutes from London Heathrow airport.

This provides us with good transport links to our customers and allows us to take advantage of regular flights from Heathrow to Hanover or Hamburg which are close to the mill in Lachendorf.

Drewsen export specialist papers all over the world – please can you give us some examples of how they are used.

With such a diverse range of papers there are numerous end uses but to give you some idea these include:

  • Security papers: used for certificates, vouchers, passports, visas, tax and revenue stamps, cheques.
  • Fine papers: for maps, charts, books, diaries, pharma leaflets, prescriptions, transaction documents, tickets and tags.
  • Technical:  used as base papers for thermal labels and tickets, adhesive labels, specialised base papers.
  • Packaging:  for food wrapping and packaging, paper straws, cotton bud sticks.

Drewsen supply Dennis Maps with Progeo paper – what properties does it possess that make it ideal for map and chart printing, and for military usage?

Pemco cutting machine

Progeo is a smooth, stable paper with excellent formation and opacity. Additionally the paper has good double folding strength which is vital for OS maps.

Your company is working on sustainable and environmentally friendly papers that can replace plastic products – what developments are we likely to see soon as consumers?

Providing paper solutions to replace single use plastic has been a mission of the mill for a number of years.

Already you will have seen the introduction of paper straws and the use of paper sticks instead of plastic sticks for cotton buds. Our heat seal papers will replace plastic which is currently used in a wide range of consumer goods from food to toys.

As a specialist map printer Dennis Maps values the relationship that it enjoys with Drewsen Speciality Papers, a partnership that we believe will allow us to meet the future challenges of an ever-evolving print marketplace.

Dennis Maps is one of the leading map printers in the world, producing more than two million maps and charts every year. We offer comprehensive pre-press services, large format print solutions using both large format litho printing and large format digital print technologies, plus specialised map folding and map finishing techniques.

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