The first recorded use of banknotes was in the 7th century in China, however in Europe the first banknotes were issued by Stockholms Banco (a predecessor of the Bank of Sweden, Sveriges Riksbank) in 1660, although the bank ran out of coins to redeem its notes in 1664 and ceased operating in that year. It was 1694 when the Bank of England issued the first permanently circulating banknotes. The use of fixed denominations and printed banknotes came in use in the 18th century.
Most banknotes are made of heavy paper, sometimes made with linen, cotton, or other textile fibres. Some countries including Mexico and Australia produce banknotes made from plastic, in order to incorporate a small transparent window a few mm in size as a security feature that can't be reproduced by common counterfeiting techniques.
For information about banknotes of particular countries or supranational entities see: