The basics of origami paper

Origami is an ancient Japanese art of folding papers. It may be an ancient form of handicraft but even in this very age, origami is very appealing to people all over the world. Only a single piece of paper can do magic if you know the ways of origami. Yes, a single piece of paper that all it takes to make origami and the single most important thing about origami is the paper! Now let’s discuss about some of the popular types of origami papers:

Basic origami paper:

50 Color Origami from

The basic origami paper is square in shape and colored in one side. The size varies from 2.5 cm to 25 cm or more but the most commonly used sizes are 15 cm and 25 cm. The basic origami paper, which is also known as “kami”, was actually developed in the early 20th century. These papers are made in the most inexpensive way considering materials and the process. So they are not so stable or strong and also may not be very square. Still kami is so popular due its availability and for the fact that it can be used to make any kind of basic origami.

Tant paper:

Mini Tant 100 Color from

Tant paper is a paper that has the same color on both sides unlike the basic origami paper. The normal square sizes are 7.5 cm, 15 cm and 35 cm but there is also some unique sizes available, such as 110×80 cm. You can get almost any color you want when it comes to Tant paper and there is even a 100 colors pack available in the market. It has the ability to hold a crease strongly and also reversing a fold is easy with it. It is very good for wet folding and the best to make any kind of sharp edged, geometric, or modular origami. The only weakness it has is the weak bending resistance and so it is not a good choice for multilayered models.

Handmade washi chiyogami print:

Yuzen Washi Red Prints from

Washi is a thick and handmade paper for origami, which is also a bit expensive. Chiyogami is an alternative to washi paper as it is of low cost and block-printed with traditional Japanese designs. Washi is a highly textured paper as it is long fibred, as well as very soft. The problem with washi paper is that it cannot hold a sharp fold. Washi is good for making decorative items like flowers, grass or leaves as it gives a more natural appearance. Overall, Washi or Chiyogami is not commonly used to make origami.

Momigami (crinkled textured papers):

Momigami – Metallic Fleck from

Momigami is a paper that is coated on both sides with a special starch coating. This coating gives Momigami paper its unique crinkled texture. This paper is strong and at the same time flexible. But as it is made from long fibred papers like Washi paper, it is weak in holding sharp folds. The color variety of Momigami paper is versatile as well as the size. Due to its crinkled appearance, Momigami paper is good for making flowers, petals, wrapping up something and for other decorative purposes.

Foil origami (thin, strong, white paper-backed foil):

Red/Gold Foil from

Foil paper is an expensive medium for origami. It is made of a thin layer of foil adhered to a thin sheet of paper. It is mainly of two colors: silver (white) and gold. However, now-a-day a 12-color pack is available in the market. Foil paper has a long range of sizes. It has a good ability to hold a crease and gives you the ability to make a bright and shiny origami. Foil is not good to make any complex structures like geometric or globular structures due to its softness. Foil paper was developed by the 1960s but even to this day, it is a controversy provoking material among origami enthusiasts.

Really big paper:
So far the biggest origami paper can be found is 31” x 22” in size. But if you need bigger paper than that, you can buy a wrapping paper roll and cut it to your desired size. Gift-wrap papers can give you more freedom in matter of choosing size. Big origami papers tend to make a little less strong origami. Also, you need to be very efficient in making a structure out of a really big origami paper.

Really small paper:
You can make a paper as small as you want out of any type of origami papers by simply cutting it. Small paper origami is mostly decorative. To decorate a card or to compliment a showpiece, small origami can be really charming. You can even make origami jewelry if you like. Folding origami from a really small paper can be tricky. Therefore, you need to be extra careful in this case. This mini origami is just 4cm big!


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