2016 No.18


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Amazing Paper in Japan


Yes, You Can Wear Paper

Washi paper and shifu paper cloth are two traditional materials bringing excitement to today’s fashion world. Young manufacturers recognize the uniquely pleasant texture that only paper can give, and with the application of technology and design they are opening up new frontiers for clothing.

Pattern clothing taking advantage of full size sheets of Shiroishi-washi. From the Issey Miyake Men Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Theme: “Living with a Bicycle.” (Photo: Issey Miyake Inc.)

Parasol. The canopy is paper cloth made from traditional Mino-washi (Gifu Prefecture). The texture gently softens the light underneath. (Photo: Hayashi Kogei)

Earring with a modern design, but inspired by traditional mizuhiki (a twisted paper cord used since ancient times for tying a gift package in a decorative fashion). (Photo: TRART)

Bags made from a fabric developed by one of Japan’s wellknown product designers, Fukasawa Naoto, and the washi paper manufacturer Onao Co., Ltd. Highly durable. (Photo: SIWA)

Shawl made from 100% washi material, colored with natural dyes. Light, warm, and beautiful too. Absorbs and then releases moisture well. (Photo: Natural Dye Studio Tezomeya)

Baby’s first shoes. Made entirely from kozo grown in the locality famous for Sekishu-Banshi, which is now on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The paper cloth threads are all made from natural materials worked by hand. (Photo: Kawahira, a manufacturer and seller of Sekishu-Banshi and Sekishu-washi)

Blouse made from woven washi paper, cotton, and linen. Special techniques make it possible to transform washi into thin threads. The result is a supple texture. (Photo: Natural Dye Studio Tezomeya)