Even for nonsmokers, the Zig-Zag brand of cigarette rolling papers is an iconic item because it has been around for so long. Its familiar image of a man with handlebar mustache and a thin smoke poking out of a full beard seems a traditional part of Americana.But most people might be surprised that Zig-Zag is actually a product of France. That’s where Zig-Zag was first developed in Paris more than 100 years ago by businessmen and brothers Maurice and Jacques Braunstein.
These ingenious Frenchmen invented the process of “interleaving,” a then revolutionary method which allowed the next paper within a booklet to be dragged out replacing the previous paper. That’s how the brand got its name -- based on the alternating, or “zigzagging” paper packaging process.The actual paper itself is made from wood pulp and flax, with gum arabic providing the thin sticky strip that is moistened for closing up a hand-rolled smoke.