What is Washi?
'Washi' literally means ‘Japanese (wa) paper (shi)’. It is believed that paper was first introduced to Japan by the Chinese in about 600 AD. In the following 200 years the Japanese mastered the art of papermaking, and to this day continue to produce highly sought after yuzen and chiyogami (types of washi).
In the past, the art of papermaking in Japan was carried out by specific families and passed from generation to generation. Before the introduction of mechanised technology, washi was made mainly from the bark of the mulberry plant which was (and still is) grown as a farm crop.
Traditionally mulberry plant branches would be soaked and the bark removed. The pliant inner fibres would be separated, cleaned, pounded and stretched. Liquid would be added, along with fermented hibiscus root, to form a paste. The mixture would then be spread in a thin layer over a mesh screen to form a sheet of paper. Once removed from the screen, the paper would be left to dry in the sun.
As expected, washi is remarkably tough and pliant. Traditionally each colour in the overall design would have been screen-printed by hand, requiring a great deal of artistry and skill. Today most washi is made with the aid of machines and printing presses. However, traditional designs and intricacy of pattern have been retained.
Types of Washi
The style of washi that we sell here at Cherry Blossom is called Yuzen. Yuzen washi is dyed in the traditional paste-resist style.
Where is Cherry Blossom's washi from?
Cherry Blossom is lucky to be able to purchase washi and origami papers directly from the manufacturer in Kyoto, Japan.
The designs and colours are almost limitless, so we strive to offer a good variety and we introduce new designs on a regular basis.
To help your decision making we have seperated out each design into colour categories. Check out the categories in the menu to your left.
if you have any questions at all about this product.