These wonderfully decorative
patterns on paper, known as Chiyogami,
are silkscreened onto machine made sheets
of mixed kozo and sulphite. They
are more popularly known as Yuzen in
the United States.
Originally, Chiyogami designs
were developed in the Edo period as woodblock
prints by papermakers during the farming
season for use as accessories in the
house to enliven the interiors. They
were based on the bright kimono textiles
which the papermakers from the countryside
saw on the fashionable wealthier ladies
in the larger cities, especially in Kyoto,
where the area known as Yuzen had become
famous for its sophisticated techniques
for dyeing cloth.
Chiyogami was meant to be cut into pieces and made into paper dolls or pasted on tea tins or small paper boxes; still today the scale of the patterns is reminiscent of these early uses. And still many of the symbols depicted hearken back to auspicious occasions when fancy kimonos would be worn: cranes for long life; bamboo for flexibility; plum blossoms and pine boughs for beauty and longevity.
The striking pigment colours, careful registration of screens and wide range of designs make these papers ideal for picture mats, books and box making.
The range of Chiyogami
patterns is endless, and Japanese designers
today are tireless in their development
of new fascinating patterns. These
patterns are constantly stocked at The
Japanese Paper Place.
Please note: reproduction of patterns is subject to copyright laws.