Origami paper qualities


Creating origami art takes more than perfecting folding techniques; it also takes vision and an important part of the process is select the right paper for you model. Although there are many hand paper makers around, most of them have other purposes and other types of customers in mind. This is why many origami artists make their own origami papers, and though much time and effort is involved, the results can be stunning, but whether you create your own paper or not, it’s still important to be aware of paper composition and available commercial papers.


Origami Paper quality

we deal with paper every day, but few paper-folding enthusiasts understand enough about the composition and manufacturing process of paper to know which paper is best for a particular project. Most people use whatever paper is readily available, such as office paper, wrapping paper, or those thin, brightly colored sheet of square-cut “origami paper”, but when you are making origami art, focus on the art and use real artists’ materials because the called “origami paper” is an inexpensive craft-supply item designed to satisfy the casual hobbyist or origami crafter because it is not formulated to be a lasting material for high-end, museum quality paper art. Similarly, rarely will a hobbyist or origami crafter choose paper larger than a 10inch (25cm) square.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting paper for your origami.



the majority of fibers in paper with “grains” lie in the same direction. Holds a small piece of paper horizontal by one edge, then hold it by an adjacent edge. You will see that it drops more when held in one orientation because the fibers are generally aligned parallel to the greatest bend. Grain is critically important to wet-folding. As cellulose fibers swell, they grow wider, not longer, so imagine what this does to a perfectly cut square piece of paper with pronounced grain when you wet it before folding.


Paper Strength

Paper strength is one of the most crucial elements in complex origami art, it is related to fiber choice, length, suppleness, and the characteristics achieved in the beating process because the ideal paper will have a high resistance to bursting and tearing. 


The extreme technical demands of today’s super-complex origami designs have also pushed this strength limits of readily available paper. Now our papers must be formulated to take numerous, intricate creases. These additional stresses come not only from folding multiple layers, multiple times, but modern origami artists are constantly turning portions of their models inside out for clever color-change effects. Add to that the fact that several of today’s most popular origami models are “action models” wit movement hat often stresses the paper at key creases. In addition, now that the powerful and important technique of wet-folding has gained worldwide popularity, paper must even be stronger.


Fiber choice and blends

The source of the fiber dictates the quality of the paper. Today, many communities recycle paper, and much of this fiber is processes so much that It becomes extremely short and weak. Without special chemical binding agents, much of the fiber would be useless. The origami artist has a wide variety of fibers sources to consider, and each one has its strengths and weaknesses.


The most common paper fibers used in our archival paper is abaca. This fiber is from a plant in the banana family, and it is prized for its long, strong, relative hard fibers. It may be the strongest know plant fiber! Cotton is at the other end of the spectrum, yielding a soft, fuzzy fiber that wicks moisture easily, making it one of the most desirable fibers to use in clothing. Other common plants user for hand paper-making include flax (linen), kozo (mulberry), and hemp. These fibers can be beaten to varying degrees, and blended in countless ways to produce a mind-boggling spectrum of handmade papers suitable for wet-folding.


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