Posts Tagged ‘hagaki’
I love sewing paper, perhaps even more than fabric. I love the way the thread stands out on the paper, I love how the paper can still hold its shape and I love the endless possibilities of thread and paper.
For hand sewing:
I have learned that punching the holes first is key. I, of course, learned this the hard way, after creasing too many sheets of lovely paper, and ending up with misplaced holes that can’t be undone as they can be with fabric.
I take an image, usually a line drawing and lay it over top of the paper I’d like to sew. Then, with a needle, or a needle jammed into the end of a cork to save my fingers, I poke out the holes on top of a soft surface – often the couch.
I will use 2-3 strands of embroidery floss; from there, the sewing is easy!
I usually use a glue stick on the back to cover up the messy underside with another piece of glued on paper.
Thicker kozo paper, like the Hagaki, works wonderfully and doesn’t crinkle or bend too much when you’re punching in the holes, and I’ve found the Nepalese paper that The Paper Place carries is wonderful for embroidery. It creases easily, but is easy to smooth out when glued. It is one of my very favourite papers to sew with.
For machine sewing:
I use a medium-sized needle so the holes in the paper aren’t too big. I’d be lying if I said I had a paper needle and a fabric needle, though I probably should. Paper dulls needles quickly though, so I’d definitely recommend switching them out quite often.
Even the most basic machine can handle paper – even a bunch of them if you go slowly enough. I often bind books using my trusty sewing machine (set on the longest stitch) and love the accented look of machine stitching on paper. And the zig zag stitch is perfect for affixing decorative bits to pages.
visit Lindsay’s website for more of her inspiring work!
Perhaps the thickest handmade Japanese paper we carry are the smaller series of Kozo cards, ranging between 240g to 300g in weight. The smallest, called Etchu Meishi, is 2.25 x 3.75” in size. The next sizes up are the 4 x 6” Hagaki, and the 6 x 8” Etchu Hagaki. We now carry the format called Tanzaku, which is 2.5 x 14.25”. We also have a 9.25 x 10.5” size called Shikishi Etchu available by special request.
In Japan, Meishi are considered calling cards or business cards and Hagaki are postcards often sent at New Years. The larger Shikishi seems to be a more recent creation to imitate traditional scrolls, smaller than scroll sheets to better fit the modern home. Tanzaku is a format often used to write wishes on to then hang from tree branches during festivals.
There are many uses for these sturdy, deckled edge sheets – gift tags, unique business cards, artist trading cards, labels, place cards, recipes, rubber stamping, small painting, drawing, and printmaking artworks.
I love these heavyweights for collage bases, I feel I can really load them with layers of other papers if I wanted to, and they’re stiff enough to easily stitch through. For a pure Kozo paper, they have an unusually smooth finish, as shown in the Meishi with a drawing of my dog Stevie, using very fine tipped pigment ink pens – no fuzzy lines or bleeding associated with inks on some other Kozo sheets. However, they also take paints and dyes if you want to stain them, Kozo being very absorbent. I also find that being smaller than typical 25 x 37” sheets, they’re less intimidating for me and are a nice human scale.
Artwork created by Leah Taylor on Japanese Handmade Kozo Cards
With Information kindly provided by Sigrid at The Japanese Paper Place