Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yuzen Paper

We've just made a new addition to our line of Japanese papers, with some new styles available now on our website and in store.

We thought you might like to know a little about the paper and its history:

These wonderfully decorative patterns on paper, known as Chiyogami, are silkscreened onto machinemade sheets of mixed kozo and sulphite. They are more popularly known as Yuzen in the United States.

Originally, Chiyogami designs were developed in the Edo period as woodblock prints by papermakers during the farming season for use as accessories in the house to enliven the interiors. They were based on the bright kimono textiles which the papermakers from the countryside saw on the fashionable wealthier ladies in the larger cities, especially in Kyoto, where the area known as Yuzen had become famous for its sophisticated techniques for dyeing cloth.

Chiyogami was meant to be cut into pieces and made into paper dolls or pasted on tea tins or small paper boxes; still today the scale of the patterns is reminiscent of these early uses. And still many of the symbols depicted harken back to auspicious occasions when fancy kimonos would be worn: cranes for long life; bamboo for flexibility; plum blossoms and pine boughs for beauty and longevity.

The striking pigment colours, careful registration of screens and wide range of designs make these papers ideal for picture mats, books and box making.

The range of Chiyogami patterns is endless, and Japanese designers today are tireless in their development of new fascinating patterns.

You can choose from our selection of Japanese papers, as A4 sheets or decorative Wedding Bands on our website, but you may also be interested in using them in your own wedding invitations. We've put some styles together that you might like. Click on the images to see more:





New Products!

Just to let you know, we've started selling some new tools on our site. We've got some new Squeeze Punches, mini Guillotines and a new Corner Punch Embosser. We think they're really nice and hope you agree.

Take a look - click on the images to go to our site:

Our new mini Guillotine

A new multitool with 6 different functions

Heart Squeeze Punch

Flower Squeeze Punch

Extra-large Tag Squeeze Punch (for making invitation and gift tags)

Corner Emboss Punch - a corner punch with 4 different embossing patterns