Best Japanese Paper for Printmaking
Japanese paper, especially washi, when utilized for artwork, transforms from a mere surface to an essential component of the art in a way that is uncommon with western paper. Japanese paper is highly adaptable, whether hand- or machine-made, and has a warmth and, if the phrase can be used to describe paper, an "honesty" that is hard to describe but instantly recognizable to the touch.
Fine printmakers prize Japanese papers, but there are so many different kinds that it can be difficult to choose the appropriate one. When there are so many different types of Japanese papers available, from traditional washi to low-cost, machine-made sheets with pulp added, it could seem difficult to choose. Make your washi give your prints the partnering they deserve. With the correct paper, you can pull more precise and consistent prints, which ultimately saves you time and money. Check out the list of the top printmaking Japanese papers below to choose the solution that best suits your requirements.
Different Types of Japanese Papers
The best way to choose the best Japanese paper for printmaking is to first understand the composition of the paper. The inner bark of one of three renewable plants, two of which are cultivated, blended with bamboo, and one of which only grows in the wild, mainly Kozo, mitsumata, and gampi are the three plants utilized in Japanese paper production. Each of these plant's fibers endows the paper types with unique qualities.
Washi, for woodblock printing, is frequently made from Kozo fibers, a kind of mulberry plant. The extraordinarily long and strong fibers of Kozo are what make it special. Because of the great wet strength that these long fibers give the papers, they can be misted and soaked for some artistic purposes. Furthermore, it produces extremely absorbent, transparent, and sturdy sheets even when they are quite thin.
Like Kozo, mitsumata is a native Japanese shrub that needs three to five years to mature before it can be harvested. Because of its strength, mitsumata paper has traditionally been used for banknotes. Moreover, Mitsumata has a warm tone from its natural origins and a flexible feel that masks its roughness. Surprisingly, the tone lends itself beautifully to color work. Mitsumata is a great material for monoprint and lithography thanks to its absorbency, although it may be used with any printmaking method.
Gampi is a very thin paper with a silky smooth surface made from the inner bark of the gampi bush, which grows wild in Japan. When the gampi paper is used for printmaking, the fibers have a natural sizing that reduces the absorption of the ink. This is preferable for some tasks since you can get a printed line with a sharper edge.
Best Japanese Printmaking Papers
1. Kitakata Paper
Kitakata paper is made from gampi fibers that give the sheets an understated, almost velvety texture on one side. These naturally deckled, warm, almost glowing, semi-translucent papers are perfect for classic printmaking methods because of their natural deckled edges and warm hue. Additionally, the sheets exhibit sharp, clean lines and excellent ink absorption. The gampi fibers used to make this paper are relatively light but also incredibly robust. Five sheets measuring 16 by 20 inches are included in each carton.
2. Masa Paper
Mulberry or Kozo mix pulp paper called "masa" has a very smooth side. Masa paper is an acid-free, machine-produced variety of Japanese art paper created from sulphite pulp. On one side of the paper, it feels soft, while on the other, it feels smooth. This paper contains internal sizing and should be gently dampened before printing. It is ideal for student-grade work and perfect for printmaking because it is simple to crumple and re-flatten. Moreover, numerous artistic mediums, such as watercolor, letterpress printing reliefs, and Sumi painting, can be employed with masa paper.
3. Awagami Mingeishi Paper
Awagaimi Mingeishi is a time-honored and traditional washi that has long been a favorite of Japanese painters. Each Mingeishi sheet is expertly crafted from high alpha cellulose and Kozo (mulberry) fiber blend. Despite having a very soft surface and a small weight, Mingeishi has better overall strength and is quite robust. This adaptable washi is recommended for Chine-collé and all forms of printmaking techniques.
These are just a few of the fine Japanese papers for printmaking. There are many more sizes and color options if you're ready for the greatest handmade papers. Think about the alternatives for translucency, color, and inclusion, and don't forget the lovely small format washi before you begin your next creation. Check out the best collection of Japanese stationery in Sugoi Mart now.
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