We've teamed up with the Sitaula family in Nepal so that their wonderful handmade paper can be sold directly to you.
Handmade paper direct from a Nepalese paper mill to you - a world first.
Traditionally in Nepal paper is sold by a mill to a wholesaler who then sells it on to a larger wholesaler who then sells it on a retailer in the west who then sells it to you.
For some perspective in this matter, mills in Nepal sell their handmade paper to the wholesalers for as little as £0.06 ($0.07) per sheet. When it eventually reaches you, you will easily be paying £3+ or more per sheet.
Hatakami Direct removes those layers of paper handlers allowing much bigger profits to be paid directly to the people who make the paper the way it should be.
Due to a combination of poor IT infrastructure and foreign currency restrictions in Nepal it is all but impossible for Nepali businesses to process web transactions using online card payments or PayPal which is why we've teamed up as partners.
How do direct sales work?
When we receive an order we forward your delivery details to the mill who will make your order ready. The papers are packed flat in a wooden parcel to protect the papers during transit. Once a week the packages are sent to a courier firm called Speedex located in Kathmandu.
Speedex send the paper on to Dubai where it is handed over to one of the big name couriers;FedEx or DHL and from there it is sent directly to you. Once it's in Dubai delivery takes about a week to 10 days to pretty much anywhere in the world.
Speedex are yet to embrace live tracking technology (but they're working on it right now so this will change very soon) and so whilst tracking info is provided please be aware that it can be very limited and often isn't updated for some time and in some cases not until it's been delivered! We ask for your patience.
We've been using Speedex for years and have never had a single issue with them.
PLEASE NOTE you may be liable to pay import/handling charges before or after delivery although to date this hasn't been an issue as far as we know.
Hatakami is the brand of paper made in Birtamode, Nepal by the Sitaula family.
The Sitaulas are multi-generational papermaking experts regarded as leading craftspeople in their field.
They make consistently clean, smooth, strong, dimensionally stable, acid-free papers for fine-art, printmaking, calligraphy and general craft. Oh, and bookbinders, because it is handmade there is no grain direction.
Hatakami Paper is made from two types of fibre, Sethbarau (Nepali Kozo) and Argeli (Mitsumata).
Both are recognised as some of the world's most underused natural resources. They grow in the wild can be harvested every 3 to 4 years.
Sethbarau (kozo) simply means "white plant" and is found 3500 metres above sea level in the Himalayas. Its main characteristic in papermaking is its whiteness and its strength. It also has a shimmery quality which can be seen in the surface of the paper.
Argeli is most commonly known as mitsumata and is widely used in Japanese papermaking. In fact Japanese bank notes are made using mitsumata sourced from Nepal. It has a natural off white colour and a beautifully absorbent quality making it a wonderful fibre for printmaking.
Hatakami can be used with inks, acrylic paints, pencil and other media including some digital print processes. Because the paper is not made with the same fibres as western paper you may need to do some experimentation to learn how it best works and reacts with your chosen media. It can be quite absorbant with inks and water-based paint so be prepared for that!
The attention to detail taken in every step of the manufacturing process from harvesting, cleaning, cooking and beating the fibre to couching the sheets one by one and drying them individually on wooden boards in the sunshine followed by a thorough inspection for perfection of weight, thickness, cleanliness and fibre distribution means that each sheet you will use is of the very highest standard every time. Any sheets which do not reach our exacting standards are rejected.
Being handmade weights from sheet to sheet can vary.