Japan boasts of a spirit of timeless craftsmanship. It is evident in the intricate designs of the Japanese products available in the market today. Different countries have long admired Japanese design due to the amazing attention to detail that their craftsmen put into their products.
One of the most popular Japanese products on the market is Chiyogami paper. Chiyogami comes from the words chiyo (for generations) and gami (paper). Chiyogami is often called Yuzen in Western countries. The names became interchangeable, but Japanese people prefer to call it in its traditional name. The use of Chiyogami dates back to the Edo period when the Japanese used it to craft paper objects, dolls in particular. You can see traditional uses of Chiyogami in paper dolls, tea tins, and paper boxes.
Why use Chiyogami Paper?
What sets Chiyogami apart from the other types of washi paper is its pattern. They are based mainly on traditional designs, and nature plays a huge part in creating each design. Chiyogami patterns are not only for paper. These patterns are in use by the Japanese in designing Kimonos before World War II.
Chiyogami was originally a print by woodblock. Since the demand has gone up, modern technology’s presence made the production of Chiyogami paper easier. Today, Chiyogami pattern print using silkscreens. But this does not mean that the beauty of the patterns is compromised. The scale of the patterns is still reminiscent of its early uses. Modern craftspeople have expanded the range of Chiyogami. However, it remains a favorite in adding richness and elegance to any project.
Chiyogami is Truly a Japanese Treasure
When we say Chiyogami, it is a representation of a graphic, repetitive design on paper. The primary characteristic that defines Chiyogami is the incredible patterns. From cherry blossoms to fall leaves and ocean waves to abstract designs, each paper’s choices of patterns are endless. Although Chiyogami is a lightweight paper, it is a tough washi. The paper is almost translucent at the unprinted edges, but it will reveal how strong its fibers are if you tug at it. That is also one of the reasons why it is prevalent in origami. Origami fans commonly use this type of washi paper because it gives a great visual presence.
Hobbyists are also finding inspiration when designing stationeries using Chiyogami. There is always a design to fit any occasion. The extremely colorful and intricate patterns of Chiyogami usually embellish with gold links that enhance the luxury of the paper, making it perfect for formal invitations. Because of this type of washi paper’s versatility, it doesn’t only give a visual impact to stationery. It can also incorporate other areas of an event. The same paper that one uses for the wedding invitations can also add an elegant touch to place cards, taper candles, and wrap-around table napkins. Chiyogami’s beauty and strength also make it ideal for bookbinding and other decorative projects.
Chiyogami’s classic patterns make it timeless and transcend any generation. The perfect mix of elegance and strength makes it a delightful piece in any craft.