Traditional Japanese Papers for Arts

Here is our special collection for various artistic purposes (such as Printing, Printmaking, Bookbinding, Watercolor, Conservation etc.) and many of these papers have been used worldwide for many decades. Swatchbook is available per request. For such information as size, weight etc. about each paper, please go to “List of Papers”.

Definition of the usage:
Printing: Offset, letterpress, engraving, photo-gravure, etc.
Printmaking: Hand lithography, etching, serigraphy (silkscreen), woodcut, wood engraving, block-printing, etc.
Watercolor: Watercolor, acrylic, gouache, sumi-e.

Gasenshi
Handmade. Mitsumata and sulphite pulp. Almost a tissue weight, Gasenshi still has body and very delicate laid lines with chain lines about 7/8″ apart. Acid-free. No deckle edges.
Use: Printing, Printmaking, Stone rubbings

Goyu
Handmade. Mostly kozo and sulphite pulp. A very soft paper which feathers beautifully when torn. Nice feel and limp appearance. Not sized for offset. Acid-free.
Use: Printing, Printmaking

Kaji Natural

kaji

Handmade. Mostly Kozo and sulphite pulp. Lightweight yet sturdy. This sheet is a prime example of the best Oriental hand papermaking. Acid-free. Unsized. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation, Printmaking (Woodcuts and letterpress)

Hosho (Original)

hosho

Handmade. Sulphite pulp. One of the most popular Japanese papers up to now, therefore, there are many imitations out in the current market. It is soft, lightweight, supple and strong, all characteristics that define a handmade Japanese paper. Slightly two sided. Both sides can be used for different purposes. Narrow laid lines and chain lines about one inch apart. Woodcuts and woodblock printing are primary uses. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Printmaking, Letterpress printing, Sumi-e painting

Hosho Student Grade
Handmade. Sulphite pulp. A close relative of Hosho, this paper is slightly heavier and coarser than Hosho. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Printmaking, Letterpress printing

Hosokawa Ohban
Handmade. 100% Kozo. Most popular with conservators as backing or support sheet for maps, documents, etc., especially larger pieces because it is slightly heavier than most Japanese papers. Also an excellent choice in block printing.
Use: Conservation, Printmaking

Inomachi (Japan Nacre)
Handmade. 100% kozo. A superior paper; the glory of Japanese papermaking. Silk-like fibers are imbedded into both sides, maintaining an even, smooth surface, thus resembling its translated name “Japanese Mother of Pearl” paper. Silky to the touch, with body and almost parchment-like feel. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Printmaking, Printing

Iyo Glazed
Handmade. Sulphite pulp. A two-sided paper rough on one side and smooth on the other. Iyo-Glazed is excellent for student printmaking, particularly woodcuts and woodblock printing.
Use: Printmaking, Printing, Watercolor (sumi-e)

Japanese Etching
Handmade. A blend of Mitsumata and sulphite pulp. One of the heavyweight Japanese papers. Some sizing and a creamy white color. Very suitable for woodcuts, woodblocks, but also for etchings. It should give interesting opportunities to the printmaker. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Printmaking

Kizukishi (Usumino)
Handmade. 100% Kozo. A very silky sheet with body and hard surface. Very even, very beautiful. Created by one of the master craftsmen of Japan. Especially good for long fiber mending since its fibers are compact and can be torn into a strong web. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation, Bookbinding

Kochi, white/natural
Handmade. A mixture of Kozo and sulphite pulp. One of the heavier of the Japanese papers, yet soft. It has no sizing, therefore good ink absorption, but consequently ink will bleed in the sheet. Nice fuzzy surface.
Use: Printmaking, Letterpress printing, Sumi-e painting

Misu Medium
Handmade. 100% Kozo. The narrow spaced laid lines and the chain lines less than one inch apart give a beautiful formation to the limp. Not sized. Acid free. 4 deckled edges.
Use: Conservation

Moriki (Yatsuo), white
Handmade. Kozo and sulphite. Soft, strong and log fibered – a typical Oriental paper. Silky fibers make this paper very fine to the touch and elegant looking. Not sized for offset. 4 deckle edges. Colors available.
Use: Printing, Printmaking, Bookbinding

Mulberry (Shiohara / Tosa Shoji)

mulberry

Handmade. Kozo and sulphite pulp. Its name comes from the mulberry plant, source of the Kozo fiber. It is very lightweight, yet strong and soft. Very versatile and pleasant to use – one of the longest, best-selling papers. Not sized for offset. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges. Machine-made one is also available in rolls.
Use: Printing, Conservation

Okawara
Handmade. Kozo and sulphite pulp. Strong, soft and supple, Okawara typifies the best in Oriental papers. The laid lines are almost invisible. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges. Machine-made one is also available.
Use: Printing, Printmaking, Conservation

Okawara Student Grade
Handmade. Kozo and sulphite pulp. A close relative of Okawara, but somewhat lighter in weight.
Use: Printing, Printmaking

Sekishu White & Natural

sekishu-natural

Handmade. Mostly Kozo and sulphite pulp. A lightweight, soft paper showing small fibers dispersed that, however, do not intrude and rather give it a soft background. Not sized for offset. Acid free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Printing, Sumi-e painting, Conservation

Sekishu Torinoko Gampi
Handmade. Created and made by one of the master craftsmen of Japan. This is a 100% Gampi paper, a rarity among Japanese papers. It is the top grade for preservation, conservation and repair of valuable objects on paper. The gampi content makes the sheet especially strong in spite of its very light weight. Silky, almost as if it were glazed, which it is not. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation, Bookbinding (lining)

Sekishu Kozogami Mare

sekishu-mare

Handmade. Created and made by one of the master craftsmen of Japan. 100% Kozo. Very similar to the Sekishu Kozogami Tsuru except for the formation of the chain lines which are doubled on this sheet. Soft, silky, versatile. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation

Sekishu Kozogami Tsuru
Handmade. Created and made by one of the master craftsmen of Japan. A 100% Kozo paper with very soft appearance and great strength. Lack of bulk makes it practical for all types of repair work. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation

Silk Tissue
Machinemade. Contains large proportion of gampi. A very silky paper, very transparent, hence practical for interleaving, for overlay on prints or over illustrations in books. Acid-free. No deckle edges.
Use: Conservation, Bookbinding

Suzuki
Handmade. A mixture of kozo fiber and sulphite pulp. Natural white. Has good wet strength. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Printmaking

Torinoko
Handmade. Kozo and sulphite pulp. A two-sided sheet with a hard surface on one side. Very soft sized, producing bleeds when painted on. Mostly used for Sumi-e.
Use: Printing, Printmaking

Tosa Tengujo
Handmade. 100% Kozo paper with especially long, silky fibers that give the paper an almost woven look. Acid free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation

Udagami
Handmade. 100% Kozo. An exceptionally lightweight paper with very narrow laid lines and chain lines 1″ apart. Very delicate fragile looking, but surprisingly strong and opaque. For the repair of valuable art objects on paper. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation

Uda Thin
Handmade. 100% Kozo. A very lightweight tissue with laid formation and exceptionally soft touch. Looks very antique and therefore lends itself extremely well for the repair and conservation of very old books and documents. Note its opacity coupled with thinness. Acid-free. 4 deckle edges.
Use: Conservation

conserve

Remarks:

Acid-free: Here the description “acid-free” denotes papers with a pH of at least 6.5.
Sulphite pulp: Above it refers to the finest available grade of wood-derived sulphite pulp, often pure high alpha pulp.
Categories: The listing of applications or media for which a particular paper can be used is not exhaustive: in the hands of creative people, paper can be used for purposes and objectives that are unusual, unorthodox or, sometimes, unique to their creator.
pH: Most of the traditional handmade Japanese papers have a pH of over 6.5 and many are 7 and above. It is impossible to give accurate figures because each making of paper can yield a slightly different pH value: papers also acquire acidity, thus a lower pH, by frequent handling (fingerprints, storage conditions, atmospheric conditions, etc.). Please inquire about specific pH values whenever this information is essential.
Printing on Washi: Japanese papers in general are not sized for offset printing. Yet, several papers have been printed successfully by offset by skilled craftspersons. When in doubt, testing the paper is recommended.

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