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Washi: natural Japanese papers
Don't know where to start looking? Try our
Perennial Favourites
for some bestselling suggestions!

What makes Japanese paper different from others?

Japanese paper, also known as "washi," has been made, continuously improved and the range extended for 1400 years. It is both the range and the quality resulting from this long history that has given Japanese paper its reputation for excellence. As a result, this refinement of technique gives the user of Japanese paper tremendous flexibility in how it is used. In this section you will find both exquisite handmade papers using time-honoured traditional methods and materials - what we consider "washi" proper - as well as more economical machine-made alternatives. All these papers are made only in Japan where the water is clean and the craftsmanship unparallelled.

How can I buy the papers in this section?

The papers that we illustrate in this section are all available for stores to buy at wholesale prices. Please check our resellers list if you are an individual looking for these papers. They represent only a partial list of what we stock in our warehouse. Other papers, some vintage, some no longer available, hard to get or very expensive for us to buy will be featured in our retail section in the months to come, and may be bought by individual artists under certain conditions.

Why do you sell these papers only to resellers?

It is our belief that the most ethical way for us to do business is to sell papers at a fair price to resellers around the world. This way, we cut down on the use of fossil fuels and excessive packing materials by shipping larger quantities less often. We also support local businesses, the sustainable underpinnings of today's economy around the world.

Choosing a paper

With dozens of similar-looking papers to choose from, we have sorted them below in a number of different ways to help you narrow down your selection:

Remember, each paper appears in all four categories, so use your most important criteria and check out the papers in that category for your best options.

In addition to listing the paper name, code, content, size and weight, we offer two additional pieces of information: grade and a visual guide to selected art media on each paper.

Visual Guide legendThe grade refers to the quality of the paper, and can be used as an approximate indicator of price and probable longevity. Our unique visual guide to each paper demonstrates how a variety of media looks on each paper, so you can see the translucence, absorbency and texture for yourself.

To help customers and resellers in particular artistic disciplines, we have also assembled a series of PDF "User Guides" for different media with suggested papers as well as tips and tricks for working with washi:

Finally, if you find the choices overwhelming and just want a quick guide to tried-and-true favourites, check out our "Perennial Favourites" page of "must-haves" for your best general-use bets!

All Natural Papers By Size

All Natural Papers By Weight

All Natural Papers By Surface Appearance

Plain Natural Papers
Coloured Japanese Natural Papers
Coloured Japanese Natural Papers
Coloured Japanese Natural Papers
Undecorated and undyed, these papers are packed with potential for many uses.
In this section you'll find a small range of papers lightly coloured with dyes, inclusions, or simply darker fibres. For more vibrant options, please see our Specialty Papers section.
Look no further for paper with a bit more visual AND tactile "zest." Longer fibres or inclusions give this range of tissues and papers a distinct look and feel.
"Chiri" means "leftovers" and refers to bark flecks deliberately left in paper as decorative elements. Nothing could be more natural!

All Natural Papers By Fibre Content: what "Rice Paper" is REALLY made of!

Coloured Japanese Natural Papers
Coloured Japanese Natural Papers
Kozo is the favoured fibre for traditional Japanese papers. Renewable, absorbent and strong, it has been a staple of Japanese papermaking for over 1400 years. Try it yourself to see why!
These three less commonly used fibres are also important renewable plant fibres in traditional Japanese papermaking and have their own distinct features and qualities.
Blending sulphite or other raw materials with traditional fibres adds weight or interest to a paper at a more economical price point.
When price is a more important consideration than quality, look no further than these papers!

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