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secrets in paper

June 21, 2011

the paper is cut and torn into a continuous thread

and carefully piled into a basket so it doesn’t tangle as I spin.


  it was interesting to see how the ink pattern developed leaving the words completely obscure. 

this is kozo paper, cut at .3 of a mm and makes a strong thread a little finer than 2/8 cotton










   2 ply paper and silk yarn, the paper was cut and spun many years ago while I was at Kawashima, it is very soft, fine  and fragile. The silk has given it strength, it is approximately a 2/16 weight.

The background fabric is a handwoven monks belt pattern furoshiki (wrapping cloth), indigo dyed.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2011 3:59 pm

    it’s so beautiful, jean, i’m going to risk using up my ledger. heather, i tried pattern paper, it’s not as strong as i though it would be.


    • June 23, 2011 6:20 pm

      I think the sewing pattern idea is one of thoses quicky, crafty western ideas for folks who want to try shifu. It doesn’t resemble the yarn made from washi/handmade paper. Museum conservators that I have talked to say printing ink can be caustic and over time self destruct. I am trying to find a reliable Japanese source of good paper. When I emailed the Japanese Paper Place in Toronto they replied that they had dozens of papers. Of course that is true but even in Japan there are not many choices of paper made specifically for shifu. They didn’t seem interested in recommending some of the choices. When I go to Vancouver I’ll take some samples and see if Paper-ya can help.


  2. June 22, 2011 10:10 am

    Wow, I have got to try this. A recent issue of Spin Off suggested using sewing pattern tissue (apparently made with abaca), which I have tons of on hand so I will give it a go. Your shifu is gorgeous.


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