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Decorative Papers


Paper can be made with flowers, threads, plant fibres,hearts or other additives.

This paper has been made by dipping the mould into two vats twice.First in a vat with cream recycled mount board, then in a vat of blue recycled paper with dried brown boronia and forget-me-not flowers added but it was only dipped half way in and was scooped out with lots of flowers.

Plain paper can be embossed with lace or with initials for special occassions.

This paper was made from recycled mount board and pressed with a fairly heavy lace. The lace was left on until the paper dried.

This paper has been made in several layers. Very thin sheets of each layer were pulled and rubbed with a sponge causing the pulp to bunch up.

This paper has been made with lots of inclusions, red & green wool, gold thread and Christmas wrapping paper

Momigami samples

Washi with Konnyaku (devil's tongue root) starch brushed on to it is crumpled thoroughly and then made into clothing which is called "Kamiko" (paper clothing). The Konnyaku starch keeps the Kozo fiber from fluffing. Even in winter, it is warm as it is wind-proof and the more it is used, it has the softness to adapt itself to the shape of the body. Such are the characteristics of this paper and the priests of Todaiji Nigatsu-do (temple located in Nara, completed 749) crumple the Washi and tailored it into vestments during the "Omizutori rite". (Held March 12.) The priests draw water from the well and light large pine torches which are carried to the main temple. Harbinger of Spring, the sparks of the torches bring good luck.

Those who wish to start doll-making should use Chiyogami (paper with colored, woodblock printed patterns) or Yuzen Katazome (paper stencil-dyed with decorative Yuzen textile patterns). When one desires to give the doll a gentle expression or movement, Chirimen Momigami (creped crumpled paper) or Konnyaku (devil's tongue) treated decorated paper is the best.

Watanabe used of a type of 'kozô' paper called 'momigami' (crumpled, wrinkled paper), which was a thick paper purposely crumpled by hand and then only partly smoothed out before printing. It gave his prints a deeper, rough, and more expressive texture than would have been possible with smooth papers.


Mix 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (or arrowroot) to a paste with cold water then add 1 cup of hot water and cook for one minute. Works OK if you have boiling water and stir like crazy there’s no need to cook. Paint both sides of paper with paste and when dry or nearly dry crumple or wrap around a ruler or a dowel to obtain interesting patterns and textures.

© 2010 Gail Stiffe