Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making Washi - Traditional Japanese Paper, Kurotani

Wa-shi 和紙 means Japanese paper. It is made of bark or some shrubs. In the past, Ukiyo-e were all produced using washi. It is generally tougher than ordinary paper.

Kurotani is located in Kyoto Prefecture. It is a paper-making town, with a souvenir shop, and it offers workshops to learn how to make the traditional Japanese paper. They use kozo - paper mulberry. It is handmade paper. Kozo is soaked for 2-3 days, then cooked for one hour and a half. Neri is added to the water. Neri is extracted from the root of a plant called tororoaoi, from the hibiscus family. It is viscous and helps keep the pulp suspended in the water.

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