Paper Info

Lets talk about Origami paper...

Origami paper is thinner than normal paper as it’s made for folding multiple times. There can be different textures, thicknesses, and can be made from different types of trees. Origami paper is made from a variety of trees, including Abaca, Hemp, Flax, Cotton, Liene, Kozo, Gampi, and Mitsumama.

The process of making origami paper is cutting the trees, stripping the bark off, cleaning and scraping the bark, beating the scrapped material, boiling the material, and having it laid out to dry. Then it is ready to be printed, cut, and sold.

Origami paper types...


This is the most standard material, ‘Kami’ means paper in Japanese. Generally, this paper is a base white and then printed with various colours and patterns on one side. Kami comes in packs of solid colours, has a light matt finish, and is easy to fold with. Kami has similar properties to newspaper when it rips. It will tear cleanly on the grain but not otherwise. Kami is a very thin and delicate paper.
Because of the grain, in machine made papers, is that the paper can swell in some humidity conditions. What happens is when these papers are made in the factory, it will be cut into perfect squares, and when you open the packet, the paper can swell along the grain and might not be square.




Tant means ‘a lot’ which explains the variety of colours! This is a great paper for displaying models, it is a thick, durable material that holds nice sharp creases. It's a great paper for solid structual models. Tant has a beautiful, patterned texture. It’s great for any kind of folding, has good strength, and is also the most used paper after Kami.

This paper is only produced in Japan by the Hokuetsu Paper Mill Company. It’s made from Australian Eucalyptus pulp which gets imported from USA and Canada. It is then dyed and cut ready to be distributed.




Duo Colour Standard Paper

This is a common paper which has both sides dyed with ink. Sometimes it can be different colours on each side, or it can be the same colour on both sides. It is a thicker paper due to both sides being dyed with ink and creates strong creases. It can be more expensive due to the second ink run, but less expensive than Tant.



Tissue Foil

This is a strong yet flexible material, made up of colour tissue paper or both sides of a sheet of aluminium foil sheet. It’s one of the easiest materials for origami, because of the combination of foil and tissue paper. Tissue foil can have a few different textures, it can be glossy and smooth, or a sparkly sheen depending on what you prefer to fold with. 





This is not often used as a material for origami, while it is very thin it holds creases very well. Some Washi does not hold creases due to the long and thick fibres in the paper, there may be extra Kozo strands incorporated from the paper making process. Printed Washi has a unique texture and can be slightly transparent. At times it can be delicate to handle, so fold with care!




Traditionally in Japan it was made by wood block printing, although now this paper is crafted by hand printing from silk screens. It has a almost fabric-like texture and is very smooth. The people who produce Chiyogami use repeating designs and overlay each print in different colours with the silk screens, along a long table going along like a production line. In Japan “Chiyo” mean 1000 generations, so you could say that the people making it have been making it for centuries! Chiyogami or Yuzen often has extravagant colours and Japanese designs printed and is often used to make traditional Japanese Hina dolls.



A final word...

These are just a few of the many materials you can use, there are so many to discover and explore with!

Over the years I've collected quite the library of origami paper. When I've been to Japan I've got my hands on some beautiful craft paper kits and it's fabulous exploring such a variety of textural paper. Some with beautiful dyed patterns and the soft washi paper is just exquisite to fold with.

So, here's my treat to you, giving everyone the opportunity to work with beautiful Japanese origami paper.


Happy folding!