‘Washi’ is the general term for handmade paper made with Japanese techniques, literally meaning ‘Wa’, Japanese and ‘Shi’, paper. Whereas paper making in Japan started during the Nara period (710 to 794 B.C.), the craft only started to flourish during the Edo period (1603 and 1868).
One thing that makes Washi and its production process unique, is the lack of chemicals used. Although special and customized Washi can be made from hemp, rice, bamboo or wheat, it is mostly made with the bark of ‘Gampi’, ‘Mitsumata’ or ‘Kozo’ trees - depending on the local natural resources of the place it's produced in. Most Washi is made during the winter, when paper pulp and cold running water, which are both needed for the production of Washi, are abundant in Japan’s rich nature. The cold water aids the resistance of bacteria that might spoil the paper. As a result, Washi is often stronger and more durable than other types of paper. Washi is recognized by UNESCO as an intangible, cultural heritage craft.
The most famous type of washi, ‘Mino’ Washi, is regarded as the highest quality washi, due to its thinness and toughness. It was first made in Gifu prefecture, which with its clear rivers provides an excellent production environment. The productions process and lengthy in very complex - but the Gifu craftsmen with centuries of experience are able to smoothly turn the raw products in to beautiful, durable art works. Washi from more than 1000 years old has been found still in good condition!
Due to the lack of chemicals in the product, it is easy to use- and reuse. You can create your own motif in washi by carefully tearing its natural texture, or by using scissors or a cutter to create small tears. Furthermore, due to its translucency and ability to soften direct (sun) light, they are perfect for Japanese paper doors, lanterns and traditional umbrellas.
Washi is a strong, durable and unique Japanese product that can be used by itself or as a part of many different unique creations!
A piece of natural Washi paper is 100% natural organic and handcrafted. It is sustainable, waste-free and eco-friendly as it does not use any chemicals.
Producing fine handmade Washi paper for over
128 years, this family business' motto is: "No matter how beautiful a piece of paper is, it has no value unless it
can find a meaning and purpose in people’s daily life". They craft traditional washi that fit in modern people's lives.
Starting at: $59.02
Starting at: $7.08