Japanese Paper A Long Tradition of Respect for the Environment

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Japanese chyogami paper

Japanese Paper-Making Production Practices

For 1400 years, the makers of handmade Japanese paper (washi) have honored the earth by employing “green” production practices. And while times have changed, the Japanese traditions of using renewable plant fibers, respecting pristine water sources and making sure nothing goes to waste, still guide papermakers in today’s modern industry.

Kozo – Non Tree Fibers

Many machine-made decorative papers are also made using non-tree fibers such as mulberry (kozo), a bush-like plant that is harvested annually. Often, woodpulp is added to the mix to accommodate the price-competitive consumer market. But the superior strength of the long kozo fibers allows for greater longevity and the sheer beauty of these papers encourages repeated use. Today’s Chiyogami gift-wrap becomes tomorrow’s greeting card decoration!

Japanese Paper-Making A Family Affair

Modern papermaking in Japan still tends to be a family affair. Companies are passed from one generation to the next and so too the desire to preserve the limited resources of a densely populated island environment. Clean water is crucial to the papermaking process and this resource is carefully treated after use.

Don’t Waste – Motai Nai

“Motai nai” is a popular Japanese saying that means, “don’t waste.” It reflects a deeply held cultural belief that is reflected in all aspects of Japanese papermaking. LCI is proud to offer quality Japanese papers made with the care and respect that embody all these important principles.

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The Japanese Paper Place

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2 Comments

  1. Norma-Jean says:

    I make all my own cards . I would like some Japanese paper to put an insert inside. I had a tablet that is all gone that came from Japan. It had a pattern faintly in the back ground. Do you have such a thing???

  2. JB says:

    Hi Norma-Jean,

    We have a number of Japanese paper designs and colors with subtle patterns. You can find them in a few different categories:

    Japanese Modern Classics
    Japanese Tairei Paper
    Japanese Sukashi Vellum

    If you end up using any of our papers to make your cards, we would love to see one. Please consider submitting a design using our Share Your Creativity submission form.