Wednesday, April 22, 2009

momigami is not a kitty name

funny pictures of cats with captions

Momigami paper is paper, preferably handmade, that has been coated in tapioca starch and dried, and then painstakingly scrunched by hand (or other methods if the sheets are large) until the sheet feels like soft chamois and can be used like cloth. It is very strong. The Japanese aristocracy used to have clothes made from it. I have gorgeous A4 sheets of cream handmade rag paper that I made it when I was a student and we still had a papermaking studio at the art school, and they're in various states of scrunch. It's very beautiful stuff, I'm really enjoying working with it.

If you make your own paper, here's a momigami recipe:

1. Put 1 cup water to 1 dessertspoon tapioca starch powder in a double boiler.
2. Stir while heating gently. Stir until clear; the consistency should be that of light cream.
3. Apply to both sides of your (preferably handmade) paper with a sponge.
4. Crumple paper well, then flatten and let dry.
5. Sit in front of the tv or radio and scrunch the paper again to soften it. The longer you scrunch, the softer the paper will be.


fifi said...

what can one do with this marvellous paper???

Ampersand Duck said...

I've never done anything to the surface of my own momigami paper except sewing -- as a student, I made a plaster cast of my body, and then tamped damp momigami paper into the cast and sewed it together to make a softie of myself :)

Since then I've used it for book covers, again sewn -- titles handsewn etc. It's marvellous as a kind of cloth. If you look at this image, papermaker Katharine Nix has used gorgeous red momigami for a book case. She does great momigami paper.

The starch sizes the paper, so I'm guessing it would be ok for inks. When I googled it a few days ago, i realized that some of the nice Indian and Nepalese papers I've been using are labelled 'momigami', but I don't know if that's just because they are crinkled, or if they've genuinely been starched & scrunched.

fifi said...

it does sound nice as a surface for blockprints, perhaps I could try it out.

That red paper is a breathtaking shade, is it not?

I am feeling like I am doing far too much writing at the moment and not enough blissfully mindless thing-making. Must get that sorted.

katherine hisako kodama said...

thanks for the recipe - very interesting process and paper!

Romana said...

Thank you, I love handmade paper and I'll try this just this night!!! LOVE,Romana from Italy

Anonymous said...

In regards to the question "what can you do with this marvelous paper?" I was originally used for many things, book covers, clothing, but for me, the best usage is Japanese 3D paper dolls. These dolls are small and hair and ornaments, clothing etc. are all made of these beautiful papers. They have patterns on them that look just like a real Kimono. The fact that the paper is made stronger from this method, makes it easier to mold and shape it so it looks like it is moving in the wind for example. I have three of them. I first saw these dolls in a museum in Hawaii in the Japanese Gardens. It is an old and respected art form and some of those who make them in Japanese are given the Honor of Living Treasure.