Thursday, December 5, 2013

From My Stash

Today, I wanted to continue my discussion regarding my trip to Japan. While there, I was able to visit Nagoya, Sapporo and Tokyo. I was very lucky to be able to stay in Tokyo for several days. Because my down time was severely limited, I wasn't able to explore the craft scene like I normally do. Also, I had to visit with some paper vendors while I was there so most of my time was spent doing business.With what little down time that I was able to use, I found this book very helpful in navigating my way very efficiently. 

I believe that Japan has to be the leader in making, marketing, and using tape in a meaningful way. Washi tape has been around for quite a while but they still manage to update/renew its properties in such a way as to make it intriguing. I did notice some different trends in deco tape (decorator tape), though.

The first product is actually from Germany and is called "paper loop." It is a stylish decorated packing tape. It has more adhesive on the back than washi tape and therefore can be used for more permanent closing of boxes/packages. There is a slight sheen to the paper used but it can be used in a variety of uses. The pattern repeats every 40cm. I used it to decorated a package wrapped in plain white craft paper. The tape can be used in parallel (shown below) or it can be used perpendicular and since the design is symmetrical, it appears as if there is a single large bow on the package. There are four options: large red bow on white, small red looped string on white, large blue bow on brown (craft paper brown) and small red looped string on brown. There are about 50m of tape on a roll so you get a lot of bang for your buck (about 55 yards). 

paper loop from German
Basic package with tape
Big Bow (image from
Red String Loop
(image from
Blue Bow (image from
Blue String Loop
(image from
Washi tape is changing as we know it. While the patterns and colors are widening, the interesting changes are due to the width of the tape. Now, the tape is coming in much larger widths. The width shown below is the 3" width but there were 6", 9" and 12" widths available as well. The trend now seems to be plaids and checks. Older trends tended to be horizontal and vertical stripes and polka dots.

Another new development in tape is Mylar stenciled cut reflective tape. While similar Mylar tapes have traditionally been used for the holidays in past seasons, the new variations are these cut out tapes that are appearing for the holidays. They are being sold in a four pack of tapes with a variety of Christmas designs. They are a little costly so I would use them sparingly (e.g., small packages) and for decorative purposes only. There isn't enough structure to the tape to use them for closing or securing packages. The tape is adhered to a mylar backing strip and you simply release the tape and place it down on the spot where you want to use it. Once it is placed, you will not be able to move it without damaging the package or tearing the tape. The product is very finicky but the impact is pretty amazing. I saw four color choices for this series of tapes: red, green, silver and gold.

New Washi tape and
Mylar tapes
Mylar tape detail

I will continue to share with you some more of the products that I was able to find on my shopping journeys.

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