Oriental Papermaking Fibres


Common Name Paper-mulberry Japanese Name Kozo
Scientific Name Moraceae Broussonetia Papyferia
Fibre Length Average 10mm (6-20mm) Fibre Width Average 30µm (25-35µm)
Fibre Ends Variable Cross-Marking Faint
Associated Cells Parenchyma, rectangular in shape with surface pitting
Herzberg Colour Red with Blue Lumen Graff 'C' Colour Red with Blue Lumen


Paper-mulberry fibres are generally thick walled with fine, even cross-marking. Fibers are frequently covered in a translucent membrane, that stains blue, (See Image 1 and 2). This membrane is often either partially or fully stripped during processing. Fibers are frequently very long, providing great strength to paper containing Paper-mulberry. Fiber ends are variable in shapes, often pointed or blunt, but also scalloped, forked and spatular[14]. Associated cells are rectangular and stain blue (See Image 1).

Paper-mulberry grows throughout East Asia, as well as being used in the Pacific region for the creation of Tapa cloth. The paper-mulberry is a fast growing tree that reaches 12 meters in height. The bast fibres have been used for centuries in East Asia, and are commonly used in China, Korea and Japan. In Japan pure Kozo paper, also known as Choshi, is used sized for calligraphy as the long fibres make the bleeding uncontrollably rough around the edges, and lighter inks appears dull and flat. Kozo paper traditionally was used for formal documents, Kana calligraphy and printmaking, as well as a wide variety of crafts. In Japan, different types of Kozo paper are Hoshogami produced in Fukui Prefecture, Sugiharagami from Hyogo Prefecture, Nishinouchi from Ibaraki Prefecture, Minoshi from Gifu Prefecture and Senkashi from Ehime Prefecture. Paper-mulberry papers used for Kanji Calligraphy usually have shorter fibred ingredients added, such as rice straw, bamboo or pulp to improve the handling properties

Paper-mulberry papers have been used in Japan for a wide variety of uses, including in sliding screens, umbrellas, lanterns, fans, sliding doors, toys, clothing, folding screens and articles used in religious ceremonies and observances, festivals, and tea ceremonies.


Image 1 Image 2
papermulb1 papermulb2


For information about this page, contact: Travis Taylor
Contact email address: travtora@gmail.com
Centre homepage: www.culturalconservation.unimelb.edu.au
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