Properties of Lokta Paper

Some of the qualities of this handmade Nepali paper

Nepali lokta paper has a number of differences from 'normal' papers. These can beput to advantage once they are appreciated. Conversely it may be found quite unsatisfactory for other uses. Here ~ in no particular order ~ I illustrate some of the properties. There is an introduction to lokta papers ~ here [122241]

Lokta paper has no grain, and is resistant to tearing. This makes it strong.The fibres are flexible, and the paper has handling properties which are almost cloth like. The paper remains strong even when sopping wet. I have seen pictures of workers dying the paper in vats and dipping and draining sheets of paper as if bundles of cotton.

A tear in Lokta paper
A torn edge of Lokta paper ~ note the fine fibres

The surface is not smooth ~ some of the chunky fibres remain embedded below the surface. Imperfections ~ bits of unclean bark ~ remain visible. These properties will vary according to the quality of the manufacture. Some papers are prepared with one ~ or two ~ quite smooth surfaces.

The rough surface of lokta paper
A rough surfaced lokta paper

The paper is translucent and 'show-through' might well be an issue for some users.

Demonstrating the translucentcy of Lokta paper
A sheet of lokta paper held against the light ~ impurities show as dark spots

There will be more to follow....


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