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Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions.  If you can't find the answer you are looking for here, please feel free to contact us with your inquiry.

How do I buy your papers?

For our specialty and artist papers, you can buy them online.

For all other papers, we only sell them wholesale from our warehouse to retail stores and manufacturers across the continent and around the world.

Where are prices for your papers?

All papers that we sell online (i.e. in our retail section) are listed with retail prices.

If you don't see a price, you are probably looking in our wholesale online catalogue section. We do not retail these items online since we don't wish to compete with our partner resellers, so avoid confusion and disappointment with surfing retail customers, we do not list prices. Please look for a partner reseller near you.

If you are looking for wholesale pricing, please contact us.

Why do you sell some papers online, and some not?

In our efforts to bring Japanese paper to the world, we wholesale as many as we can to partner resellers across the globe to make them locally available. Out of fairness to these resellers, we will not compete for the same customers by retailing those papers online. Our online showcase is just that - to act as a visual catalogue for our wholesale customers, and for the retail customer to encourage their local reseller to expand their line if they see something they like.

On the other hand, some papers are simply not widely available through our reseller partners. We also stock an extraordinary selection of papers too expensive or too hard to come by for wholesale. Some have been discontinued for various reasons such as the death of a papermaker, switch of career or difficulty obtaining materials. We are pleased to be able to offer these papers online for people to discover for themselves.

I'm looking for rice paper. Why can't I find any on your site?

Rice paper is a term commonly used for washi, or Japanese papers. "Rice paper" is a misnomer, since what most people mean by rice paper is not made of rice at all but more typically with any of the three traditional materials of kozo (mulberry), gampi or mitsumata (read About Washi for more information about these fibres). In this sense, many of our papers are rice papers - particularly those in our retail section.

Specifically, you may be looking for Unryu tissue, a translucent paper with long kozo fibres that come in many colours. Alternatively, you may be thinking of a very plain paper in an off-white or natural tone.

What are your wholesale terms?

Please contact us directly for wholesale pricing and terms.

Can I order a catalogue/ swatch book of your papers?

Unfortunately we don't have a print catalogue as we have several thousand papers that need to be felt to be appreciated - the cost would be prohibitive. Instead, please see our online catalogue for a wide selection of our papers.

If you have specific papers you are interested in, we can sell you small sets of samples so you can feel the papers and get a proper sense of their colour. The cost for samplers is a minimum of $30, and for that you can either get 8 pages each with 8 different swatches 1.5 x 3" in size, or just 8 larger 8.5 x 11" sample sheets. Shipping by post is on top of that, or you are welcome to pay to have them couriered. We reserve the right to limit the number of swatches sent at any one time.

Why do you charge for swatch sheets?

The charges cover our costs - not just the paper costs but the staff time in cutting and assembling them.

What do people do with this stuff?

Good question! And the answer is so long we've devoted several pages of our website to it - go to Who Uses Washi to learn more, or to our Inspiration Gallery to see samples of work.

I'm designing my own wedding invitations. Can you help me?

Unfortunately, our warehouse and wholesale side of the business is not equipped to deal with individuals' invitation requests. We encourage you to contact our resellers, many of whom would be happy to help you with your invitation-making needs.

I want to make a lampshade. Is this paper flameproof?

No - these are natural, uncoated papers. You can buy sprays, but be aware they can change the nature and/or colour of the papers.

But in Japan, the most fire-conscious country on earth, they don't coat these papers. They simply ensure that a safe distance is maintained from the bulb.

Yuzen vs. Chiyogami

For all intents and purposes, these terms describe the same paper: silkscreened patterned papers. Yuzen refers to the elaborate, gold-highlighted patterns originally used in the Kyoto textile industry, while Chiyogami (literally "thousand generations paper") is the word for woodblock-printed papers developed in the Edo period. 

Today, as Yuzen textile patterns join the traditional Chiyogami ones on paper, both terms are used interchangeably. We have chosen "Chiyogami" simply because it was the term originally created to refer to paper (-gami means paper).

For more on this subject, you may want to visit our Chiyogami section where we address this question, as well as the history of Chiyogami in general, in more detail.

Can you tell me more about Chiyogami (Yuzen)?

Absolutely! In fact, we have a whole separate Frequently Asked Question list in our Chiyogami section. You can go there directly, or simply choose from the questions below. If you wish to return to this page, use the back button on your browser or click on the "FAQ" icon in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen.