Welcome to: Rice Paper Gallery
rice paper, rice paper plant, where it grows, dyed in various colors
Rice paper plant
In Europe, around the 1900s, a paperlike substance was originally known as rice paper, due to the mistaken notion that it is made from rice. In fact, it consists of the pith of a small tree, Tetrapanax papyrifer, the rice paper plant.
The plant grows in the swampy forests of Taiwan, and is also cultivated as ornamental plant. In order to produce the paper, the boughs are boiled and freed from bark. The cylindrical core of pith is rolled on a hard flat surface against a knife, by which it is cut into thin sheets of a fine ivory-like texture.
Dyed in various colors, this rice paper is extensively used for the preparation of artificial flowers, while the white sheets are employed for watercolor drawings. Due to its texture this paper is not suited for writing but very suitable for what I does.
It got the name "rice paper" because it was used to make packets for rice. This sort of paper is used for origami, calligraphy, paper screens and clothing, etc. It is much stronger than commercially made wood-pulp paper. Although paper can be made from rice straw, this is not the "rice paper" that people usually think of.
The correct name for this type of paper is, depending on the type of mulberry used, kozo (Broussonetia papyrifera, the paper mulberry), gampi (Wikstroemia diplomorpha), or mitsumata (Edgeworthia chrysantha). The fiber comes from the bark of the mulberry, not the inner wood or pith, and traditionally the paper is made entirely by hand.more
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