Every piece from DNJ is made of paper (and sometimes other stuff, too).

Japanese paper / Washi / 和紙

Originating in China in the 10th century, Japanese washi paper is made from the inner bark of the Paper Mulberry tree. It has many, many uses, from books to clothing, bags, mats, shoes, boxes, umbrellas, architecture, water bottles, lamps, and so much more.

Washi paper is different from the kind of paper that you would find in a receipt, or in a notebook. Thanks to the length of it’s fibers and the way it is made, it is more flexible and durable than other kinds of pulp paper. 

Making paper is a communal activity and requires the labour of an extended network of people. 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. Our supplier gives us an exhaustive amount of information about each sheet, including the source of raw materials, type of water used, name of the person who made each sheet, techniques applied, etc. 

We use only handmade paper.

This video details the intensive process of making one sheet of handmade washi paper.

Here is another.

Here are some of the other materials that we use:

Agar Agar / Kanten / 寒天

Agar may have been discovered in Japan in 1658 by Mino Tarōzaemon (美濃 太郎), 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 / Konnyaku / コンニャク

Konjac 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.

Fermented Persimmon Dye / Kakishibu / 柿渋

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 sources of or allternatives to Mica, but they are very hard to find.

Oil Paper / Aburagami / 油紙

Oiled with special drying oils, oil paper is used for umbrellas, rainwear, hats, and protective paper cloth.

Beeswax / Mitsuro蜜蝋

Beeswax is a product made from the honeycomb of the honeybee and other bees. The mixing of pollen oils into honeycomb wax turns the white wax into a yellow or brown color. Beeswax is used for high cholesterol, pain, fungal skin infections, and other conditions.

We use beeswax for waterproofing our products, and get it from Honey For Life.





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