My name's Sara Adams, and I discovered origami for myself during Christmas 2005. I've been hooked ever since. The intention of this site is to get you hooked, too. You've been warned! — Now go enjoy some instructional videos, pictures in the gallery, and all the rest of it. And most importantly, happy folding!

Paper Review Special: The Paper Survey

by Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne; Giangh Dinh, Beth Johnson and Robert Lang

Twenty. The total number of fingers we, Gadi and I, have in our hands. More than three years of folding hundreds of models, with many lab hours, and most importantly, a huge collection of quality papers, produced twenty paper reviews.

This is a project of four people; Gadi Vishne, my co-folder; Sara Adams and Dennis Walker, both are helping on the editing level; and me. Together, we have reached twenty paper reviews, so there's ample reason to celebrate that achievement.

Being in this celebratory mood, I asked three unique artists to share with us their love for paper. Beth Johnson, Robert J. Lang and Giang Dinh are all (mostly) figurative designers, and were delighted to help with this special review. Unlike our normal reviews, where we choose the paper and fold different types of models, here we took a new concept – what is best for a certain model? I asked all our participants to choose two or three models of their own creation, and share with us their preferred paper for folding them. The result is presented here, as one of the most interesting article you can find about origami papers!

Clean Room Paper Review

Authored by Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne
Weight (gsm) Sizes Color Palette Texture Aging
66 US letter, A3, A4 Limited Smooth Unknown
Attributes:
Wear and Tear Memory Forgiveness Tensile Strength Bending Restistance
8 / 10 9 to 10 / 10 9 / 10 6 / 10 7 / 10
Model Suitability:
Classic Action Tess. Complex Modular 3D Wet Folding
8 / 10 10 / 10 9 / 10 6 / 10 6 / 10 10 / 10 n/a
Final score: 8 out of 10
Paper type: 

A new paper is exciting, yes, but it is rarely surprising. This is exactly what happened to me when I was introduced to the concept of a Clean Room Paper. The moment I heard about it, I knew I had to have it.

Efalin Review

Authored by Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne
Weight (gsm) Sizes Color Palette Texture Aging
115 70cm by 100cm 24 Fine Linen, New Linen, Crash, Smooth Many years
Attributes:
Wear and Tear Memory Forgiveness Tensile Strength Bending Restistance
9 to 10 / 10 9 / 10 8 / 10 9 to 10 / 10 7 / 10
Model Suitability:
Classic Action Tess. Complex Modular 3D Wet Folding
7 / 10 9.5 / 10 9 / 10 5 / 10 6 / 10 9.5 / 10 9 / 10
Final score: 8 out of 10
Paper type: 

As a tessellator, I admit that I love Elephant Hide, but I am always looking for other options. Unfortunately, there are not that many good, thick (but foldable) papers out there. One candidate however is Efalin, made by Zanders from Germany – yes, the same company that brought us Elephant Hide.

Unsurprisingly, it is not intended as an origami paper. Far from it! It is mainly used for book-binding, and as such, it is strong, durable, resistant to dirt and moisture, it has a lovely finish and can be wiped clean!

Lokta Review

Authored by Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne
Weight (gsm) Sizes Color Palette Texture Aging
~50 varies; e.g. 45cm×45cm, 50cm×65cm Many Handmade Many years
Attributes:
Wear and Tear Memory Forgiveness Tensile Strength Bending Restistance
10 / 10 6 / 10 6 to 7 / 10 9 to 10 / 10 6 / 10
Model Suitability:
Classic Action Tess. Complex Modular 3D Wet Folding
n/a n/a 7 / 10 8 / 10 n/a 8 / 10 n/a
Final score: 8 out of 10
Paper type: 

When you think about handmade papers, three names come to mind: Origamido, Unryu and Lokta. We had already reviewed the first two, so it was time to complete the trio.

The best information I found about Lokta came from Wikipedia:

Nepalese handmade Lokta paper is made from the fibrous inner bark of high-elevation evergreen shrubs primarily from two species of Daphne: Daphne bholua and Daphne papyracea, known collectively and vernacularly as Lokta bushes.
These bushes proliferate in open clusters or colonies on the southern slopes of Nepal's Himalayan forests between 1,600 and 4,000 m (c.5,250-13,000 ft). Historically the handcrafting of Lokta paper occurred in the rural areas of Nepal, most notably in the Baglung District. Today raw Lokta paper is produced in more than 22 districts in Nepal, but finished Lokta paper products are produced only in Kathmandu Valley and Janakpur.
Lokta paper's durability and resistance to tearing, humidity, insects and mildew have traditionally made it the preferred choice for official government records and sacred religious texts.

As with most handmade papers, Lokta has long fibres and the slow cleaning process is intended to keep the fibres whole, long and unbroken. This results in a high quality product, but there is a price for such long fibres - can the paper hold a crease?