What About Washi?


To know Japanese paper, is to love it.  Even the tiniest little piece speaks of the tradition and process used to design and produce it. We love Japanese paper.  And sure, the first cut hurts, but when you allow that paper to take flight in the shape of an origami crane, or wrap a piece round a loved one's gift, or add a little sparkle to an everyday object, you honour that paper and the craftsmen who made it.

Japanese paper is traditionally made from a combination of plant fibres, including kozo (paper mulberry), gampi and mitsumata.  The combination of these fibres results in paper which is characterized as strong, supple and warm.
At Omiyage, we carry three types of printed Japanese paper - Chiyogami (sometimes referred to as Yuzen), Katazome, and Aizome

Chiyogami was traditionally developed to be used for paper dolls, covering tea tins, and similar applications.  Originally developed in the Edo era, chiyogami was block printed by hand, replicating popular yuzen kimono patterns. These days, the papers are silkscreened by hand and the growing selection of patterns are amazing.

Katazome paper is stencil-dyed using traditional kimono patterns and techniques.  Katazome papers are extremely striking.  Aizome paper is characterized by various shades of blue.  Traditionally produced using natural indigo dye, aizome paper is no longer constrained to only shades of blue.

Japanese paper is simply beautiful - to see, to touch, to use.  At Omiyage, we offer a selection of smaller cuts of chiyogami and aizome - perfect for papercraft, paper doll making, scrapbooking, origami and more - as well as full-sized sheets.