Letterpress Printing on Washi
Hand set type / letterpress is one of the oldest printing methods and is extremely well-suited to using washi
Tips and Things to Consider· if you dampen your paper do so by misting or placing between layers of dampened newsprint in a damp pack (should be done several hours ahead)
· a carrier sheet can be useful when working with dampened washi, especially with larger sheets
· many papers print well without dampening, especially gampi
· ink can go right through thinner papers when printing – consider printing with a layer of newsprint behind to protect baren or press
· thinner papers dry out quickly – print with first layer of newsprint dampened as well as impression paper and an additional dry newsprint layer
· when choosing inks be aware of the method of drying for that brand: inks that rely on absorption are best avoided when printing on thinner papers. The use of drying additives may be advised
Most types of washi will work – though kozo is strongest when printing with a press – slightly heavier papers are often preferred including those with some wood pulp content
Currently we stock the following papers which are excellent for letterpress and relief printing.
Mura Udaban A Itaboshi · 100% Thai kozo· Handmade with four deckle edges· Dried on wood· Unsized· 64g· (available as a full sheet 17" x 56") udaban refers to the long format of the paper traditionally used for scroll mounting· a relatively heavy paper
Oguni Fudagami Large · 100% Chinese kozo· 58g· Handmade with four deckle edges· Unsized· Available in full sheets 25.5" x 39" · produced in Niigata· a strong relatively thick paper made using traditional methods· fudagami translates to label papers – strong papers made for labels for products including sake and kimonos.
Seichosen Kozo Yotsuban · 100% Japanese kozo· Dried on wood· 50g· Dried on wood boards· River (sunlight) bleached· Available in full sheets 29 x 40"
Torinoko Kozo Natural White · 100% Japanese kozo· 180g
Tosaji Cream · 60% Thai kozo· 40% sulphite· Handmade with four deckle edges· Unsized· One of the heavier handmade papers available, · 118g· Available in full sheets 20" x 26"
Usu Kuchi Extra Heavy · 100% Thai kozo· Machine-made· Unsized· Relatively heavy· Absorbent· Takes color well· 65g· Available in full sheets 25 x 37"
Uwa Senka Long · 100% Thai kozo· Handmade with four deckle edges· Unsized· 55g· Available in full sheets 14 x 38.5" ·
Yuki Gampi · 100% Phillipine Gampi· Handmade with four deckle edges· Unsized· Dried on wood· 45g· Substantial gampi paper with a distinctive creamy color· luxurious surface – more eggshell than the pearly quality of many gampi papers· Almost opaque
Kozuke White and Ivory
Kozuke Ivory Heavy
Washi Arts offers a sampler / assortment of "Heavier Weight Washi for Letterpress Printing" Click here to view / order.
Don't discount using thin papers – great results can be achieved with some extra care.
Image provided by The Japanese Paper Place· Artist Brian Kelly· Title Game · Woodcut
All information courtesy of The Japanese Paper Place
Reproduction by permission only