A magical crafting item from Japan known as washi tape

Washi Tape

Washi Tape has originated in Japan  and is made out of natural fiber like bamboo or hemp. Typically it is made from the bark of trees which originate from Japan.  It can be derived from mulberry, the gampi tree and  the mitsumata shrub.   The Washi tape can be delicate as well as strong and can be used in some wonderful ways for everyday and decorative purpose.  In recent times the popularity of Washi Tape has boosted and now every craft manufacturers are finding their own ways of executing  in the washi tape line. 

Washi tape can do wonders in wrapping gifts. If a gift is wrapped in a simple brown paper and the Washi Tape is used  just like you use the ribbons then it can do wonders. Craftsmen or hobby friendly people can dare to try different tapes with different widths and designs.  It is not just about gift wrapping and  decorating, the tapes can be made use  as highlighters  in the calendars. Many of the tapes are transparent so it can be used as a permanent pen to write  on top of it.  This will not just make it convenient  for the users but will also  make the calendar look beautiful.

The beauty of washi tape is that it does not have just one use, it can be used in various and numerous possible ways.   It is the favourite of the crafters and works like magic as it makes anything look beautiful and gorgeous.

How it is produced:

Washi is no extraordinary product and is made in a similar way like any other paper. The only difference is that just a few more chemicals are used in the manufacturing.  It is a long process which needs cold weather and cold running water which is vital for the production of Washi. The Kozo is the common fiber used to manufacture.  The branches of Kozo are boiled and stripped from the outer bark and dried.  The starch and fat from the bark is removed by boiling it with lye. It is then placed under the running water to remove the lye. The fibre is bleached and the remaining impurities are removed by hand.  Finally the kozo is spread in a hard rock and is beaten.

Where to buy it:

You can actually buy washi tape online and there are a number of people who sell it on Esty and you can get it on Amazon too.  One the best places to get it though is a website called Washi Kawaii at http://washikawaii.com

Kinds of Washi:

There are basically three types of the Japanese paper, the Ganpishi, Kozogami and the Mitsumatagami.

Ganpishi:  The Ganpishi is also known as Hishi. It has a smooth and shiny surface and is used for crafts and books.

Mitsumatagami:   It is ivory in colour and is brought to use in printing. During the Meiji Period it was used to print paper money.

Kozogami: This is made from paper mulberry. The kozogami is tough and is similar to  a cloth and  is treated as water resistant.

Ways of  using Washi Tape: 

Not many know but there are some amazing ways to decorate with washi tape.   The Japanese paper is so amazing that it can make anything look the world’s most amazing thing.

  1. Note book cover: Even a boring notebook can be made bright and lovely by just a piece of washi tape.   One single cover for the notebook can make it change completely.
  2. Computer Keyboard: Try different pieces and colours of computer keyboards   and make a boring laptop or just the keyboard look amazing and colourful. One has to just find different colours or the same colours, whatever is convenient, and stick them on the keyboard. Just name the keys before sticking.
  3. Decorate party cups:   Planning a party at home?  Surprise your guests with some beautiful party cups.
  4. Food wraps: Use the washi for wrapping food.
  5. Use washi on the blinds to make it look colourful

ORIGAMI – Paper art at its best

Origami Shirts

In Japanese the word ORI stands for folding and the word GAMI means paper. The art of folding papers to create different objects is called ORIGAMI. This traditional Japanese art form has been handed down from parents to children through generations. Through Origami you can create different animals, fish, birds, shapes, toys, objects, furniture, masks etc. and the art itself is very easy to learn and understand.

Historically the art of Origami started in the 17th Century and gained popularity globally in the mid of 19th century. Slowly with the passage of time this art form has evolved into a modern form of art which is today practiced globally. The intricate art of Origami utilizes folds to develop objects and those objects that are created by cutting and gluing paper are not considered as ORIGAMI objects rather they fall under a different art form called as Kirigami. The basic requirement for any Origami creation is a square piece of paper which can be in different colors or prints.

You can learn more about origami at a fantastic website called Origami University at http://origamiuniversity.com.

Origami can be characterized in 4 distinct sections a brief of which are as follows:

Wet Folding Origami:

A technique which involves creation of models with gentler curves in rather than straighter geometrical folds is known as wet folding origami. In order to create these curvatures the paper used is damped and once the structure of the model has been finished the paper dries up to keep its natural shape and curves. A very handy technique if you are planning to produce animal models or natural looking structures.

Modular Origami:

Considerably a complex operation Modular Origami puts a number of identical pieces together to form a complete model. Normally developing the individual pieces is easy but developing connectivity among those pieces is a tricky business and requires absoluteness is measurements and calculations. Another abstract of this style is called the Golden Venture Folding which is actually “3D Origami” where even more elaborate models of origami are developed.

Action Origami:

The development of objects that can actually move is known as Action Origami. Origami is a diverse art form and is not limited to stationary objects and the movement can actually be attributed to some very clever ways. This can include objects that can fly, or move if pressure is applied to a certain part of the model.

Origami Tessellations:

By definition a tessellation is a collection of different figures that fill a plane without any gaps or overlaps. Origami tessellations utilize pleats to connect different molecules or portions without the utilization of any gaps or overlaps.

On top of the above mentioned derivatives of the Origami other derivatives may include mathematical origami and technical origami which are two branches that go absolutely hand in hand with each other. Probably the most iconic Origami design is the famous Japanese paper crane which is probably not only the most famous but also the most basic and the most learnt/adapted Origami model to date.