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Washi Grading system
Visual Guide explanation


Washi Grading System

Japanese paper is known around the world for its strength, beauty and versatility. 

But like all things, not all Japanese paper is created equal!  

This classification chart will help you understand how The Japanese Paper Place grades its papers.




Fibre Content


Production Method


Cooking Agent

A Grade:

Exceptional papers; the best available. 

Made by master craftspeople with traditional, domestically grown Japanese fibres.

100% traditional domestically grown Japanese fibre (kozo, gampi, mitsumata)

Natural tororo-aoi used as formation aid.

Handmade (HM) or machine-made (MM)

Undyed or dyed using natural plants or minerals.

soda ash or lime

B Grade:

Good papers; fibres imported from outside Japan.  Often a mix of traditional fibres and sulphite (wood pulp) or other synthetic materials.

50% to 100% traditional imported fibres

Handmade (HM) or machine-made (MM)

Undyed or dyed with synthetic materials

caustic soda

C Grade:

Often referred to as “Student Grade” papers.  Still reliable performers, economical.

20% to 50% traditional imported fibres

Handmade (HM) or machine-made (MM)

caustic soda; may use bleach

D Grade:

Cheapest papers available.  Suitable for proofing, working out ideas.  Not recommended for professional work.

Less than 20% traditional imported fibres

Handmade (HM) or machine-made (MM)

caustic soda and/or bleach

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