Origami wet folding technique

Akira Yoshizawa

We’ve heard a lot about the “wet folding” and thought we’d share with you what we’ve learned.

Origami wet folding technique is what the name implies. It is a process of dampening the paper before folding it in order to create softer, curvier edges (as opposed to sharp edges and straight lines only). This exciting new origami technique was an invention by the Japanese legendary origami master Akira Yoshizawa in the late twentieth century. While the rest of the world somewhat limited themselves with the traditional origami making, Akira stunned the world with the magic of wet folded origami forms.

Why would someone use the wet folding technique?

Wet-folding allows the creator to create and preserve a curved shape more easily. It helps reduce the number of wrinkles and creates a more realistic detailed form (especially when you’re trying to fold animals). It becomes rigid and study when dried, making it durable and easy to transport.

Tools for wet-folding:

  • Origami paper (Thicker paper than the usual works better here, as they are to be dampened later on; otherwise they may tear at places).
  • A spray bottle with a little water in it.
  • A dampening cloth.
  • A cutting mat or a cutting board.
  • A sharp instrument (a sharp knife, even a metal edged ruler will do!) for cutting purposes.

How to do wet-folding:

  • Cut the paper in the required shape first.
  • Start with moistening the paper. You can use a spray bottle or the damp cloth here. Keep the spray bottle about 30-45 cm away from the paper and spray evenly to make it moist. ¬†Or, take the damp cloth and wipe the paper evenly with it to make it moist.
  • Fold the paper as per requirement to give it the desired shape.
  • Mold the paper to give it a 3D look and add small details.
  • Keep the structure somewhere safe for drying!

A few tips:

  • Practice the shape you want to make in the traditional method first because a faster hand is needed to do wet folding.
  • While dampening the paper, be careful to not do it too much. The paper needs to be slightly damp to be curved in the right places, but not soaked in water
  • Never make sharp creases, or use fingernails for pressing. Use the pulp of the fingers to do it, and do it gently.
  • It is better to avoid folding the structures on a flat surface (like a table). Instead, do it in the air by simply holding it in hands.

Wet folding an origami is a pure pleasure and a new level of fun. So, which shape would you like to try today?

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One Response to “Origami wet folding technique”

  1. […] we wrote about the origami “wet folding” technique that was pioneered by origami master Akira Yoshizawa. His technique involved wetting the paper so […]

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