Japanese paper is made from the inner bark of the Paper Mulberry tree. It has many, many uses, for over a thousand years—from books to clothing, bags, mats, shoes, boxes, umbrellas, architecture, water bottles, lamps, and so much more. At it’s peak, there were 70,000+ handmade papermaking houses in Japan. Now there are less than 150. Our suppliers are all over Japan, and we work with a distributor to source and pay our suppliers equitably, which means that each sheet costs us roughly $50 AUD.
Agar may have been discovered in Japan in 1658 by Mino Tarōzaemon (美濃太郎左衞門), an innkeeper in current Fushimi-ku, Kyoto who, according to legend, was said to have discarded surplus seaweed soup (Tokoroten) and noticed that it gelled later after a winter night's freezing. Over the following centuries, agar became a common gelling agent in several Southeast Asian cuisines. We use it as a finish on our paper cloth.
Konjac (pictured left) is a common name for the East and Southeast Asian plant Amorphophallus konjac, which has an edible corm (bulbo-tuber). It is also known as konjaku, konnyaku potato, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam. It is edible, and used in lots of Asian food products. We use it as a finish on our paper cloth.
Kakishibu is a dye made from the tannin of fermented persimmon, crushed and processed while they are green. The dye offers antibacterial and strengthening qualities to paper. We use it as a finish and a dye for our paper cloth.
Mica / Unmo / 雲母 Mica is used to add a shine and lustre to the paper cloth. We are currently seeking sustainable and ethical sourcs of or allternatives to Mica, but they are very hard to find.