Awagami Factory is located in the heart of Tokushima, Japan and has been producing high quality papers since the 18th century. Awagami is known for their washi papers which are 100% crafted & produced by the Fujimori family.
The craft and knowledge that has been passed throughout the different generations, which allows them to focus on the high quality of the unique washi paper made from natural fibers: Kozo, Bamboo, Mitsumata, Gampi and Hemp making papers for Fine Art, Inkjet Printing, Crafts, Interior Design and Art Conservation.
Paper has played a significant role in Japanese culture for well over 1000 years. Its intrinsic qualities of warmth, resilience and durability have seen it used in the manufacture of the widest imaginable range of products for both daily living, ritual and the arts.
Traditional Japanese woodblock printing or moku hanga has for centuries utilised paper made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree; kozo. Kozo fibres are long and will create very strong and absorbent paper even when made thin and if dampened. Gampi has long silky fibres that can create a thin, translucent and smooth tissue like paper. There is some historical speculation that early papermakers in Japan observed that Gampi fibres were giving off a viscous, mucous like substance that significantly impeded the draining of water from the paper mould. This slowing down of the draining allowed for the fibres to be agitated and intermingled for longer and evened out the thickness of the pulp layer. The substance also appeared to contribute to the sheet formation process and was later discovered to be hydrogen bonding, a process that occurs in all papermaking, causing fibres to adhere to one another during the drying out process.
Gampi was not a cultivated crop so over the centuries papermakers found other sources of this substance now widely referred to as Neri. When papers are made using the longest of fibres, Kozo, in combination with the neri it is possible to achieve papers that are thin and transluscent whilst retaining extraordinary strength. This is what gives Japanese 'washi' its distinct characteristics and sets it apart from western 'yoshi' papers