Japanese Woodblock Step 4 – Paper Preparation

Firstly order from America or Japan after deciding which type – Shin Torinoko, Masa or Kasuga?

I get most of my paper from McClains Printmaking Supplies or Woodlike-Matsumura. Either way, there’s a heady choice of washi paper alone to choose from. Depending on your printing method, you’ll need to take into account weight, pulp type, size and colour.

Apparently Japanese paper used to be made mostly by farmers during the winter months to supplement their income. The cold meant that the paper didn’t go mouldy. Having experienced Japanese winter with no heating, all I can say is that these farmers were as tough as they come – I shudder to think of handling heavy vats of pulp in freezing conditions for hours!

If you’re really interested in washi, Kyoto Visitor Guide has a good write-up.