About Awagami Factory

“Awagami Factory” is a brand of Japanese washi papers produced solely in Tokushima, Japan. Awagami operates on 8 generations of family knowledge and skill focusing on quality and refinement within this world-heritage craft. Responding to the needs of artists and creators, Awagami strives to incorporate washi paper into contemporary society and is known as a modern-day facilitator of washi culture. Besides creating the worlds most trusted Japanese papers, Awagami also operates a paper museum, runs international papermaking workshops, maintains an ongoing artist-in-residency program and a multi-disciplinary printmaking lab. The mill also collaborates with artists on custom-made papers and has most recently created the Awagami International Miniprint Exhibition; a juried printmaking show. It is Awagami’s desire to promote the beauty of Japanese washi and to proudly pass washi culture on to the next generation….and then well on into the future.
http://awagami.com/

Awagami's Techniques and Products

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Awagami’s Techniques and Products

The traditional method of making washi by hand, known as “Nagashisuki”, has been adapted for machine paper manufacturing. Traditional papermaking fibers such as kozo and mitsumata are carefully prepared for a very slow-running machine so as to create a glossy textured natural paper that is very similar to handmade washi.  These machinemade papers are beautiful and resilient like their handmade counterparts.

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Handmade Paper

Awagami's craftspeople use ancient papermaking techniques like “Nagashisuki” and “Tamesuki” to carefully make paper one sheet a time. Production handmade papers are regularly made as are specialty handmade sheets that make use of the distinctive handmade deckled edges. The mill has made unique handmade custom papers with beads, wod chips, dried flowers & seeds.  Awagami’s special thick papers (made using the “Tamesuki”) method are particularly populr and can't be made with mechanical papermaking methods. Additionally, a variety of frames are on hand to make paper in a variety of large sizes to respond to artist requirements. Depending on the production lot, special papermaking equipment can be made by special order. The maximum paper size that can be made is approximately 2.4m by 3.5m.

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Washi Products

Stationery, accessories, packaged products for craft use, and other items that make use of the unique characteristics of washi are all made at the mill. Though it can be difficult to process, Awagami’s experienced staff are accustomed to handling washi; making it possible for them to manufacture such a wide array of high-quality paper products. Washi is mainly sold in full sheets, however through cutting, processing, and unique packaging, it can take on a new appeal, and be transformed into products that have a clear intended use.

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Dyeing

One well-known highlight of Awagami washi is the virtual rainbow of brilliant colors our papers are dyed with. The washi is hand-dyed using a technique called “Atozome” (piece dyeing) and among the dyeing techniques used at the mill are ‘momizome’ (crinkle), ’itajimezome’ (grid attern), ‘sekkazome’ (flower pattern), and ‘aizome’ (natural indigo). The paper is coated with sizing called dosabiki to prevent any color bleed and most often coated with organic ‘konnyakubiki ‘to make the paper water-resistant. Often, two sheets of dyed washi are laminated together (“Hariawase”) in order to make it even stronger.

VIDEO

video copyright Malcolm Raggett
http://www.mraggett.co.uk/
-Malcolm Raggett is UK-based photobook maker specializing
in unusual hand-made book constructions.