Look and Feel
Model Suitability (out of 10):
Attributes (out of 10):
Perhaps trying to profit a bit from the glory of the by now quite iconic Elephant Hide, calling new papers "Hide" has become popular. This was maybe also the case here. Nicolas Terry, who to the best of our knowledge the only person selling this paper, notes that Lizard Hide
has a great texture imitating [the] skin of reptiles. Rather thick (96-116 gsm [depending on the color]) and water resistant, it is ideal [for] capturing organic shapes (like flowers and animals since there are many curves to be put in them), for wet-folding as well as [for] tessellations.
We couldn’t find the paper's source, so our review is solely based on our lab tests and the opinion of the four test folders: Guy Loel, Ynon Toledano and the authors, Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne. We decided to test it for the suggested types of models only: 3D models, intermediate models, and tessellations.
- Thickness: We measured a weight of 113 gsm, which is within the stated range of 96-116 gsm. It has a thickness of 167 microns. For comparison, Elephant Hide weighs 110gsm and is 135 microns thick. So, with a thickness ratio of 0.671, it isn't as dense as Elephant Hide with 0.815.
- Sizes: Nicolas Terry sells squares with a side length of 24cm (9.5in), 35cm (13.8in), 50cm (19.7in) and 70cm (27.5in)
- Colors: 7 different colors are available: black, dark gray, light gray, dark brown, brown, green and dark red. These shades are perfect for folding reptiles.
- Paper Coloring or Colorability: I used metallic Folk Art red color. The paper curled as expected, but just a little. The paper dried in less than five minutes and expanded by 2mm (1%). None of the color seeped to the other side. The texture is still visible under the red layer, but it is less defined.
- Texture: the front of the paper is embossed with randomly placed, small hills and valleys. This side is rough to the touch. The reverse is smooth and has a slight resemblance to Tant. The pattern is visible, but you cannot feel it. The color is even with very little deviations here and there.
- Photogenic: The texture is subtle, but if you use a macro lense for close-up images, you can get absolutely beautiful images.
- Aging and Wear and Tear: Lizard Hide scored 691 and 800 in the tear machine. For comparison, Elephant Hide scored 1130. Still, the values indicate Lizard Hide is strong and can handle rough treatment and stay intact. We do not have any experience with aging or color fading but the fact this paper is acid free, helps. For some of us, the paper tore in the weakest pionts. 7 out of 10.
- Memory: High. Creases are sharp and evident. 8 out of 10.
- Forgiveness: Very high - the first crease breaks the paper in a way that makes reversing it easy. 9 out of 10.
- Tensile Strength: We refer here to the maximum stress the paper can undergo while being stretched or pulled. With the grain, the paper endured 17.3kg, stretching by 3mm before tearing. In strong contrast, against the grain, the paper tore at 5.5 kg already, stretching by 9mm. The value with the grain is very impressive, Elephant Hide tore with less than 15kg (but was stronger against the grain, enduring 7kg). 8 out of 10.
- Bending Resistance: This section rates the amount of force you need to apply to get a sharp crease and how strong the paper is while being curved. The results, 420 and 122 are much better than those we measured for Elephant Hide (295/120), which has a similar paper weight. 8 out of 10.
- Price group: Expensive – think thorougly before using – for a best friend's wedding gift.
- Where to buy:
Hilula tessellation by Ilan Garibi, 33×33cm
When folding the 24 by 24 square grid, I started with folding against the grain. Wow, it's so hard to creaes! When placing the second crease, I found it difficult to make the paper where I want it to go. Creasing with the grain is much easier. This echoes the extremely contasting values we got in the machine tests for tensile strength and bending resistance.
Precreasing showed good results, the short fold lines did not expand into the adjacent squares.
Hilula is a tessellation that displays most of the paper – much more than the Pineapple tessellation I usually use to test the paper. The collapse asks for a lot of tensile strength. I was disappointed by the paper here – the paper tends to break instead of bend. Some of the molecules lost their rounded shape because of that. The central square relies on sharp creases holding their place. With Lizard Hide, they weren't quite strong enough. So the final model didn't turn out as elegant as I wanted it to.
Pineapple tessellation by Ilan Garibi
I folded just a couple of molecules of the pineapple tessellation to more easily compare this paper to the ones I previously tested. Indeed, Lizard Hide is more suitable for tessellations with flat, simple fold lines. In my opinion the collapse of the tessellation best reveals whether the paper is suitable or not, and this paper make that very easy.
Dog by Hideo Komatsu, 35×35cm
This was the first model I folded from Lizard Hide. The paper is thick and breaks in an ugly way, leaving slightly corrugated edges. Thankfully, a good bone folder helps flattens the paper easily. Step 32 is a closed sink, and here the paper showed how strong it is. Rather than using the clean process Komatsu presents in his book, I simply pushed the corner inside. The paper did not mind this at all. Then several amazing steps follow, which involve wrapping layers around, more sinks, stretches, and the paper responded nicely throughout. The paper didn't break or tear a single time. The final model stand strong and solid.
Hippo by Hideo Komatsu, 35×35cm
Guy Loel folded this model.
The paper has the same weight as Elephant Hide, but it feels much heavier and thicker. Still, I found it very nice to fold with, as I got a sense of accuracy, somewhat similar to Tant. This is more obvious when you fold with the grain. When folding against the grain, the crease is jagged, but if you strengthen the crease with your fingernail, it is sharp and nice. The head, which is more complex than the rest of the model, went well, as the paper is big enough.
When shaping the model 3D, the raw edges of the upper jaw got tiny tears While shaping it into 3D I got tiny tears on the sides of the upper jaw. The paper tension is especially high there. Although the paper is strong, I should have handled it more gently.
The texture is too subtle for my taste. All in all it is a fine paper that folds well, but I prefer Elephant Hide.
Rabbit by Hideo Komatsu, 20×20cm
I used the paper I colored with red metallic acrylics. As the paper is quite thick, I decidded to use a 20cm square, ratehr than the usual 15cm. As always, the metallic paint gives the paper a plasticy feel, but the nature of the paper remained. Creases must be enforced with a bone folder, but beside that, I had no problem with the model. I paid special attention when forming the ears, which went with ease.
The final model stands firm and looks good. The pattern is slightly toned down, but still visible.
Bear by Bernie Peyton, 35×35cm;
I chose the bear as a test model, as this paper is thick and should allow making round curves. I like the way the paper folds, I got sharp and clear creases. However, adjusting a fold line makes it too weak, and slight pinches don't show – you must make sharp creases.
Shaping the bear was easy, but it didn't stay in place, I had to use adhesive tape. I didn't try to wet fold it, as the paper is so soft.
Toad by Roman Diaz, 35×35cm
Ynon Toledano folded this model.
As Lizard Hide is quite thick, I chose a model of intermediate complexity. I would not dare to fold a complex model with a square smaller than 70cm by 70cm.
I liked how the paper holds the creases, but I found it difficult to reverse a fold line. When I folded multiple layers at once, a tear began to form. at the final stages of the model I discovered that it's very easy to shape the model with this paper. And, of course, its best virtue is its texture, which I simply love. All in all, as long as you use a bit larger paper than recommended, this paper is great.
Some tradeoffs were made in this paper. The unique texture required some sacrifices. To emboss the skin-like look, you need a thick, slightly fluffy paper. And because of the many valleys and mountains in that texture, the paper sometimes breaks when you only want to curve it. Even more, the texture weakens the paper, so that two of us got small tears when folding. And finally, because the paper is thick, we had to fold with larger paper than we usually would.
Taking all of this into account, the paper is exactly what it is advertised as – great for intermediate to low complexity models with a unique texture, and better for full body models, rather than flat ones. For tessellations, I have mixed feelings. Collapsing worked well, but I'm not sure whether the texture complements tessellations that well.
We found around 20 models folded from this paper in Flickr. All are intermediate models, 3D animals like rhinos, elephants, a gorilla and a bulldog. We didn't discover any tessellations or folds from other genres.
Why should you buy it?
You have to accept compromises for this texture. So while it is far from the best paper we tested so far, it is still a solid paper, which folds well and has a stunning texture.
Bottom line: beautifully textured paper