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Crinkling Paper Techniques FAQs & some paper vocab March 21 2024

Not all crinkled paper is made the same..... and not all crinkled paper is referred to in quite the same way. What does "momigami" refer to? The word "momi" literally means "crinkled" or "kneaded"- It's a descriptor for the following noun "kami" or "gami" (as a suffix) meaning "paper". In Japanese "shi" is also used a suffix meaning "paper". "Momu" is the verb "to knead" in Japanese. There is hand-crinkled paper, typically using "the one-fist-at-a-time" method. That's how we crinkled this heavyweight marbled kōzo paper for facemasks we sewed on a sewing machine. The sheets became softer and more fabric-like the more we crinkled them. The masks were quite comfortable on one's face; the paper was soft for the skin. The image below shows our vintage Momi Kōzo Papers recently added to our shop. The more fancy metallic version are now up on our shop too: Fancy Momi Kōzo Papers. These 2-ply papers are crinkled and dyed on the "front" side, and also have a flat (un-crinkled), white backing. Here's a little video of crinkling paper mask crinkling Absolutely any paper can be crinkled, and can be called "momigami". However, in the world of washi (Japanese paper), we typically see momigami made with a large dyed piece of kōzo paper sometimes known as "mingeishi'. When washi is creped with a tool (instead of the hand) then the paper is referred to as creped in English, however, Japanese it can still be referred to as "momi-something". For example above here is an image of "momi chiyogami" or chirimen- gami . chirimen (creped) gami or kami for paper. Momi chiyogami is crinkled or creped with a straight bar tool; using a tool like a stick or bar, allows you to crinkle or crepe paper a little more evenly; like image above. Above is a before and after photo of turning regular wrapping paper into a creped paper by using a large, traditional, very analogue creping process. What does "kyōseishi" refer to? Kyōseishi = Momigami with starch. In this case, "kyōsei" means "strengthened". The correct word for to refer to a paper both crinkled and starched with konjac or konnyaku is kyōseishi or sometimes "kamiko" if made into large extended lengths of kyoseishi. The photo above depicts a beautiful pillow made out of kyōseishi. Here's a little video on the toughness of kyōsei We also have these gorgeous starched papers covered with gold leaf dust- they are called Kindeishi or (kin) "gold" (dei) "mud" (shi) "paper": in English their nickname is "muddy gold paper". They are basically very starched kyōseishi with gold leaf dust. What is "joomchi" ? Is an ancient Korean craft and the best translation is felted paper, but instead of felting with soap, which one would use with wool, only water and good quality kōzo paper is necessary. Image below depicts the craft of joomchi. Click here for more of our blog posts related to joomchi.
MORE PAPER VOCAB! The word "kōzo" is the Japanese word for the paper mulberry fiber made from what is known in English as the paper mulberry bush or (Broussonetia papyrifera).
The Korean word is "cham dak".
The word "hanji"' is the word for paper hand-crafted in Korea.
The majority of hanji happens to be made from paper mulberry fiber.

Konjac or Konnyaku and Paper January 12 2023

Konjac or Konnyaku -spelled both ways in English and pronounced like the the liquor and place "Cognac", is otherwise known as devil's tongue root. This root is ground into a powder and made into a paste. It is more often made into gelatin in the shape of noodles, retangles, or spheres and used often in the Japanese diet. It's high in fiber and very a healthy starch. Konjac in jelly form is sometimes added to health drinks.

The konjac powder stirred into almost a clear paste has been used for centuries to coat paper especially in making kamiko or paper cloth, like that shown in the photos of the paper cushion and totebag.
konjac treated handmade paper cushion konjac treated handmade paper cushion
Once dry, the treated paper called kyosei-shi or "strengthened" paper, becomes more wind and water-resistant, improving heat retention while remaining breathable and durable. The paper becomes functional for even outdoor use, such as: rain capes and hats, paper show covers, paper buckets, pouches and more. After konjac paste application, the paper appears more textured and feels more leather-like, and will hold its strength, and durability. Kyosei-shi is great for book covers, sewing, stitching, dyeing, and any work requiring strength and more flexibility.
handmade paper tote bag konjac treated, handmade paper totebag
We have paper cushions (not online quite yet) and tote bags available for purchase. If you are interested in purchasing these konjac treated finished products, please email us at contactus@paperconnection.com for more information. Click here--> konjac powder if you are interested in making your own paste. We were inspired to write about konjac after attending a delightful and informative presentation and workshop at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)'s printmaking department last month by artist and papermaker Nicholas Cladis from The University of Iowa Center for the Book, where participants experienced the medium.