Monday, October 27, 2008

On the Prowl in Tokyo

I had to postpone my trip to Tokyo Hands because I found a new possibility for another Japanese paper source. Since I knew that I had an extra full day to explore Tokyu Hands in Tokyo, I decided to try and locate the well-known paper store called Ozu Washi Hakubutsuho. There is the store proper, an exhibition room and a paper museum. They also have classroom instruction in origami, paper making, and paper dying.

I will spare the detailed directions (you can get them by going to here. The store is huge, clean, and accessible. The papers are all out in the open and you are allowed to touch the paper without asking for assistance. They only request is that you ask for assistance to take paper from the bolt.

In most Japanese paper stores, the paper is usually tri-folded onto itself (very much like a bolt of fabric). The paper IS NOT creased though. When you roll the paper you never really notice where the paper has been folded. When I store my paper in my flat files, I fold it in half without creasing it. Sometimes the weight of the other papers creases the paper but because Japanese papers are so fibrous and flexible, the crease is unnoticeable once paste/glue is applied to the back. If I get a crease in a sheet of Japanese paper, I will then use it to my advantage by using it as a crease in a card or on a box.

I was smart for this trip to Japan in that I took my paper swatches with me to see what colors/patterns that I already had. So for this trip, I only ended up buying 10 sheets of paper. These were patterns that were unique to this store so I was happy with a light hand.

As I was reading other blogs, I noticed that some of the sewing blogs have a fabric swatch Friday where every Friday, the show samples of their favorite fabrics. I think that I will have a similar posting series where I will highlight several examples of the papers that I have acquired from around the world.

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