Handmade Decorative Paper Inspired by Traditional Japanese Technique

May 31, 2016

Following traditional Japanese technique, Gold Leaf Design Group’s collection of handmade decorative paper is a modern celebration of art and history.

Paper making is an age-old tradition brought to Japan nearly 1,300 years ago. As technology has edged this process out from the mainstream, it is now considered more of an art more than a means of manufacturing.

This elaborate form of production creates a close relationship between paper and maker. From this arises a distinctive character that can only be found in handmade products.

handmade decorative paper
Eco Friendly Design

Traditional handmade Japanese paper makes use of native raw plants and grasses: kozo, mitsumata, and gampi being three of note. For this Chicago-based company, natural material comes in a different form: recycled cardboard, newspaper, and sawdust are what is found in abundance.

At the time, usage of local materials was an only option; we are now finding the benefits of returning to this practice. Using regional materials simplifies the assemblage of supplies and eliminates the need for manufacturing and shipping new materials. This saves on the resources- such as gas and water- that it would take to do so.

As an eco friendly design company, Gold Leaf has found innovative ways to incorporate coveted design looks with earth friendly materials. This recycled decor is exemplary of their practice.

handmade decorative paper
The Process, in Short

To give raw material a soft appearance, the recycled components are steamed, separated, pounded, and stretched. Most often a liquid solution is added to thicken the mix and give the paper a paste-like quality.

The solution is then piled on a mesh screen in thin layers. Traditionally, this was accomplished using Nagashisuki method with a bamboo screen and wood frame. For decorative purposes, Gold Leaf’s handcrafted paper is layered in organic, geometric-inspired patterns.

handmade decorative paper

The solution of these recycled materials result in a product of cool, earthy tones. Joined with smaller, strand-like materials such as grasses, pineapple fibers, and banana fibers, this handcrafted paper has a textured appeal and shows character from all its components.

Whether displayed as a single sheet or layered for a full wall display, this handmade decorative paper will compliment other neutrals in a subtle and artful nature. Available for purchase in sheets or in display boxes, this wall art puts a modern spin on age-old technique.


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