- Acid free printmaking paper
- 52 x 43 cm
- 4 Deckle edges
Paper has played a significant role in Japanese culture for well over 1000 years. Its intrinsic qualities of warmth, resilience and durability have seen it used in the manufacture of the widest imaginable range of products for both daily living, ritual and the arts.
Traditional Japanese woodblock printing or moku hanga has for centuries utilised paper made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree; kozo. Kozo fibres are long and will create very strong and absorbent paper even when made thin and if dampened. Gampi has long silky fibres that can create a thin, translucent and smooth tissue like paper. There is some historical speculation that early papermakers in Japan observed that Gampi fibres were giving off a viscous, mucous like substance that significantly impeded the draining of water from the paper mould. This slowing down of the draining allowed for the fibres to be agitated and intermingled for longer and evened out the thickness of the pulp layer. The substance also appeared to contribute to the sheet formation process and was later discovered to be hydrogen bonding, a process that occurs in all papermaking, causing fibres to adhere to one another during the drying out process.
Gampi was not a cultivated crop so over the centuries papermakers found other sources of this substance now widely referred to as Neri. When papers are made using the longest of fibres, Kozo, in combination with the neri it is possible to achieve papers that are thin and transluscent whilst retaining extraordinary strength. This is what gives Japanese 'washi' its distinct characteristics and sets it apart from western 'yoshi' papers
To coincide with our introduction of traditional woodcut tools from Japan we are launching a carefully selected range of Japanese paper ‘washi’ made by Awagami Factory, a sixth generation family run paper mill. These Awagami papers are made from traditional natural fibres: Kozo and Gampi as well as non-tree fibres such as Bamboo, Cotton and Hemp.