Japanese Paper Types

Japanese Washi paper is a traditional Japanese cultural treasure, an art form and handicraft passed down since about the early 7th century CE, and now it’s available in affordable, modern form to fulfill a wide array of office, business, event, and personal needs.

If you need a better paper for printing, packaging, stationery, and more besides, Washi has some important qualities to recommend it: in addition to being more absorbent, making for better definition and contrast, it’s also more durable, meaning it’s less prone to rips, tears, and yellowing with age.

Today we’ll discuss the uses of Washi paper, and how a paper revered as a Japanese cultural treasure can change your experience with paper.

Types of Washi Paper

What is Washi Paper Used For?

Traditionally, Washi paper was used for handwriting, calligraphy, printing, and artistic purposes – in short, for every conceivable use of paper.

During Japan’s period of modernization under Western influence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Washi paper was largely edged out of everyday use by cheaper, mass-produced, lower-quality yoshi paper.

Because Washi had only ever been made by hand with great care, it was not adapted to the new age of mechanization. Not adapted, that is, until Edofiber adapted it to modern production techniques.

We at Edofiber have innovated a process for manufacturing Washi by machine, without compromising any of the quality associated with the traditional handmade methods.

You can think of us as modernizers of tradition, achieving a harmonious synthesis between traditional quality, art, and respect for nature, balanced with modern efficiency and cost-saving of production.

With our parent company, Nagai Shigyo Company Ltd., we’ve been producing machine-made Washi for almost a century. We use bamboo pulp and vegetable ink to increase our sustainability and decrease our use of forest products.

With our methods of production, Washi is now available economically for a host of commercial printing and packaging solutions. Thanks to its much greater absorbency than ordinary paper, it is excellent for producing high-definition printing, and lending contrast and definition to images.

Washi is also much tougher and durable than ordinary paper, and therefore less prone to rips and tears. Washi is actually more textile-like than the kinds of papers that are produced using wood pulp, such as Western papers more commonly available.

So, how can Washi help you? What can you use it for? Let’s take a look at some cutting-edge modern uses for this traditional Japanese paper.

Washi Digital Printing

If you do a lot of digital printing, you know how important definition is. That’s particularly true for printed programs for events, invitation letters, menus, stamp books, envelopes, greeting cards, and more.

We have a number of different types of Washi paper optimized for digital printing. There are different textures to choose from, and a variety of different colors as well. Whatever your digital printing needs, we have a Washi paper for you.

What differences will you notice when you switch to Washi? The key thing is the definition: with Washi, everything is deeper, clearer, and higher definition.

Say goodbye to smudge-prone, low-contrast paper: everything looks sharper when it’s printed on Washi.

In addition to text, think about digital printing designs and images. Maybe you have a brochure, a menu, or an invitation with a stylish image, or company logo.

Where other papers struggle to replicate these images well, Washi is optimal for absorbing the ink and causing them to stand out in clear, crisp contrast and high detail.

If you’ve ever had to print lithographs, in particular, Washi is the paper for you: it’s perfect for high-contrast images, and because it’s so much more durable it will last longer.

Washi Packaging Solutions

Another great use for Washi is packaging. If you need to wrap something – a gift, a package for shipping, etc. – Washi is the ideal paper for high-quality packaging presentations.

Where other wrapping and packaging papers are prone to ripping and tearing, Washi is much stronger and less prone to accidental rips and tears. If you’ve ever sent off a wrapped package and had it arrive at its destination with a rip at a corner, for example, you’ll appreciate how much tougher Washi is.

In addition to helping to keep your presentation attractive and your packages safely wrapped, Washi wrapping paper can be wonderfully aesthetic. Our Washi wrapping papers include a variety of coloring schemes, including solid Earth tones, softer tones that mimic woven silk, pastel tones, see-through tissue papers, and gold and silver leaf Washi.

Washi Stationery and Crafts

Washi is tough, absorbent, and can be wonderfully beautiful, all properties that make it ideal for use as letter stationery, envelopes, and office supplies. Washi also excels when used for artistic scrapbooking projects.

Washi paper envelopes are ideal for invitations to weddings, formal dinners, and other occasions. They’re stronger than envelopes made from ordinary paper, less prone to unwanted creases, or to rips and tears.

Similarly, Washi file folders are ideal for organizing papers around the office. They’re stronger, durable and more elegant than the typical commercial file folders.

Washi Custom Solutions

We offer a wide variety of Washi custom products, whether for conference, office, or restaurant, or business use.

If you have a conference or special event coming up, for example, we can offer you customized natural paper badges, file folders, flipchart pads, document organizer portfolios, and more.

We also have a variety of custom Washi paper supplies which are perfect for restaurants and food handling. Try our bamboo chopsticks set, our paper table mats, coasters, napkins, cups, straws, and food sheets.

Similarly, we have custom packaging solutions for a variety of needs: tea, cosmetics, wine and spirits, clothing, home furnishing goods, jewelry, and much more.

Washi packaging solutions make your presentation unforgettable. If you’re looking for the perfect custom solution, our expert Washi production engineers are happy to consult for a solution perfect to your needs.

Discover Washi Commercial Applications

The reason to use Washi instead of other papers is elegantly simple: it is better than ordinary paper and paper products, both in terms of its ability to absorb ink and produce high-contrast text and images, and in terms of its durability and longevity.

Our approach to making Washi combines the timeless wisdom of the past with the innovation of our modern age. If you need better paper products for printing, stationery, packaging, or a custom Washi solution, we’d be delighted to be of service.