It may be the most Asked Question, and yet no one suggest a complete and total answer to it - what paper should I use (to fold that model)?
Truth to be said, we will not try to achieve a perfect solution. We will try to build a foundation to this effort, and place few bricks based on our common experience and the help of some colleagues.
In order to review a sheet of paper, one must first decide what the properties of paper are. Then, with “Hands on” experience, one must decide their value or grade, from low to high (0 to 10). This value is not worst to best since each model requires different qualities.
Moreover, this is not enough. No point in reviewing Elephant Hide to Miniature Unit Origami, or Foil to a wet fold. One should try and say what it is good for - to be tessellated, or to fold insects’ models - and then only judge it. There is no bad paper; there is only the wrong model.
Well, every complex model start with a valley fold, so here we start.
Click on the links in the first column of this table to read the detailed paper reviews.
Eyal Reuveni additionally reviewed the first 10 papers that Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne tested: Elephant Hide, Tant, Japanese Foil, Printer Paper, Origamido®, Stardream, Crumpled Paper, Kraft Paper, Onion Skin, and Nicolas Terry Tissue Foil. You can read his views in the Paper Review Special: A Third Opinion.
Making Of ...
These articles go into the production process of different paper types.
Paper as a material
- In gsm (grams per square metre). One cannot say "the thinner the better", if he plans to wet fold, so there is no good or bad here, just pure data.
- How big can you get it? Smaller sizes can be achieved in any DIY way you like, and for many the question is "Is it big enough?"
- Color palette
- From narrow (as with Elephant Hide we have less than 10 options) to wide (100 colors set of Tant paper). The value is as simple as the number of colors choices.
- The feel and look of the surface: smooth, rough, alive, skin like, shiny, etc.; With two subcategories: Friction - for the use of Modular origami; Transparency - for
back-light Tessellations. This is an unvalued parameter.
- Span of life. We would love to know how many years our models will stand
firm and colorful. Alas, since with some papers we do not have life time experience to support it by facts, a need for more inputs from readers arises!
- Paper Coloring or colorability
- Since some papers are the same color on both sides, or come only in white, you may want to get the right color for your model by coloring in. This
paragraph describes how the paper behaves when being colored. We will try to answer
questions like: "Does it soak through to the other side?" and "Can you get the accurate hue you wanted?" and more.
- Today a lot of us fold for the camera, since more viewers will be able to see the digital version online than the real one! This section describes the way the paper looks in
images; with or without flash; appearance of the texture; etc.
Paper as for folding
- How good it remembers a fold (where aluminum foil gets a value of 10
and plastic bag get 0).
- The ability to "erase" a fold line, or to reverse it. Onion Skin paper is
very hard to reverse-fold, while Elephant Hide is very easy. One can even make a fold line disappear with a strong finger “ironing” the unwanted crease! Scale will be from 0 to 10.
- Tensile strength
- Tensile strength is the maximum stress the paper can undergo while being stretched or pulled. Tear and Wear; does it break up when refolded 3 or 4 times? Where Elephant Hide gets lots of points, and Kami will get only 4. It may be the number of times till it breaks, if we will have the patience to that tedious test. The value will range from 0 to 10.
- Bending resistance
- Bending resistance relates to the amount of force required to bend the paper. Some class of folding relies on the tension of the paper to hold the shape, we will try to value that on a range from 0 to 10 (Thanks to David Whitbeck, from the O-list, for adding that).
- Where to buy.
- Bottom line
- Final score.
This is, of course, an open list, and additions to it are more than welcome.
To value a paper in its Origami sense, you must fold it. In this project, each paper is examined by two folders. We will fold the same 6 models, out of the presented list of Origami classes:
- Traditional use: Animals, mostly, but not only - it includes all one-sheet classical 2D models. The most traditional model is the crane, of course, folded from a 15X15 cm
- Action models: There are three main action moves: a pull, a push, and flexing the paper. The following three models were selected to test for each of these action moves:
- Barking Dog by Gadi Vishne: This is a great model for testing the push mechanism, which makes the dog bark.
- Flapping Bird (traditional): We will examine the pull factor of the paper by flapping the wings.
- Jumping Frog (traditional): This model will be used to check the flex factor of the paper, measured with the distance the frog jumps.
- Modular/Unit Origami: Well, all the models that are based on tabs and pockets, inserts and locks, and need more than one sheet to be created. two models were
- PowerPuff modular, by Ilan Garibi, made from 30 15X15 cm units.
- Sonobe ball, made from 30 8X8 cm units.
- Tessellation: One sheet, repeated pattern. Two models were chosen:
- Pineapple tessellation by Ilan Garibi, from a 70X70 cm paper, for complex folding and multi layers.
- Mystery tessellation by Ilan Garibi, from a 70 X70 cm paper, to see transparency and surface behavior.
- Complex: Insect, ancient dragons, 100 plus stages of folds, entry paper size - 25X25cm. This model must examine multiple layer folds and some sinks. The chosen model is the Pegasus, by Satoshi Kamiya, from 2-3 sizes of paper - 25X25 cm (the recommended size), 35X35 cm and (if needed) 45X45 cm.
- 3D models and Wet Fold: Wet folded or not, these include intermediate to high models, which have full body, and can stand on their feet. We have chosen Fox Terrier by Francisco Javier Caboblanco (20X20 cm) and Eric Joisel variation of the Crane or his Rat.
The list is neither a final nor a closed one. We will allow ourselves to divert from it according to the paper specific needs and characteristics. We know there are a lot of sub categories to add to this list, as Flowers, Jewelry, toys and more, so if needed, specific relevant paper type reviews will relate to those, too, in the "What is it good for" section.