" Among the rich, a standish was provided for the scrivener -- it was not considered in the least dignified for a great man to write his own letters. The standish contained compartments for pens, inkhorns and for powdered gum sandrac -- or sand. Paper was used but parchment was necessary for official and family documents and its oily surface was prepared by rubbing in gum sandarac. Errors were erased with a penknife, the rough places sprinkled with pounce (probably pumice) and smoothed down with a dog's tooth or an agate. And, in passing, it is interesting to note that blotting-paper was known, and had been known for years. Horman, writing in 1519 says 'Blottyng paper serveth to drye wette wrytyng lest there be made blottis or burris'. "
The Elizabethans at Home Elizabeth Burton