Nepalese Hatakami Paper

Prakrtika

Hatakami Prakrtika is a soft but strong handmade paper. It uses a blend of two natural fibres native to Nepal. The shrubby strength of sethbarau (mulberry ~ kozo ~ widely used also in China and Japan) is combined with argeli (mistumata ~ a softer plant widely used for making papers in the Far East).

The deckle corners of a pile of Hatakami Papers
The deckle edge corners of a bundle of Hatakami Papers

Smoother corners of a pile of Hatakami Papers
Smoother edges of a bundle of Hatakami Papers

Hatakami is the name for this type of paper, prakrtika means natural. The plants from which the fibres are obtained recover after harvesting ~ and regrow sufficiently for reuse in a few years. Some of these fibres are only suitable for papermaking in particular seasons of the year, and the fibres do not store well. The required plants only grow at altitude and climate particular to their region. |Transportation costs add to the pricing. There are no large-scale factories. Family groups harvest and make the papers as some have done for generations ~ millenia ~ it is a long-established craft.

As with all handmade papers there is no grain direction. There are likely to be small impurities in every sheet ~ ranging from a flake of bark that has not been filtered out to a tiny clump of fibres that has clung together in spite of being bashed and swirled around in the deckle. Depending on the thickness of the paper it can have a translucency and slightly marbled effect ~ making it ideal for making lampshades.

Six sections of Hatakami Paper
Six sections hatakami paper ready for sewing into a book

Another feature of handmade papers is that the edges are often somewhat uneven ~ rough and jagged ~ but also often out of square by a tiny fraction. If you want neatly cut edge then be prepared to do a lot of trimming ~ which is wasteful.

Office papers are recognized by their grammage ~ typically 80gsm or 100gsm. Eastern handmade papers have a completely different feel and softness, and the comparable weights are about half those of western papers. Our hatakami behaves much like a 120gm sheet, although its actual weight is a little over half that.

The paper is acid free and claimed to be of archival quality. It has been made in Nepal for thousands of years ~ and is typically produced by family specialists handing their knowledge down within the generations.

A version of this paper is described in more detail at [126226], and is also available for sale at purchase from our sister store at busybusy.shop.


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