Since 1983, Canadian bank notes (dollar bills) have been printed on 100% cotton paper. However, when the first bank notes were printed back in 1935 they were composed of 25% cotton and 75% flax. The composition was reversed to 75% cotton and 25% flax during the Second World War to conserve flax for the production of linen used in military uniforms. It wasn’t until 1983 that the composition was changed to be 100% cotton which was brought about by Quebec environmental laws concerning the use of flax.
1935 also marked the only year that the Bank of Canada issued $25 bills and $500 bills. Pictured here is a $25 bill from 1935, courtesy of the Bank of Canada.