Hatakami: Bhari (pure mitsumata)
HANDMADE PAPER FOR FINE ART - printmaking, drawing calligraphy
Bhari is an extraordinary paper - the worlds thickest pure mitsumata paper.
It weighs in at 130gsm which for an asian sheet is as heavy as it gets especially considering that unlike other heavyweight papers from the East, this contains no wood pulp filler at all, just pure mitsumata.
This is the name of an ancient type of Nepalese papermaking fibre prized for its printmaking and drawing qualities. In Nepal it's known as Argeli.
It's harvested in the foothills of the Himalayas where it grows naturally and is recognised as one of the world's most underused natural resources.
Mitsumata is a prized in Japan where it's used to make the highest quality papers and in fact Nepalese mitsuamta is exported there where it's used to make their banknotes!
The fibre is found on the inside of the bark which is stripped, steamed, boiled and cleaned; the little bits of impurities removed by hand.
It's then put into a Naginata (a pulp beating machine with blades) to make the pulp and transferred to a tub with water.
Sheets are formed by hand, one by one. A mould is dipped into the tub and the pulp evenly distributed across it. The wet sheets are transferred on top of one another until a large pile has been made.
Once the large pile (known as a post in traditional papermaking terms) of wet sheets have been made they're placed under a hydraulic press are to remove excess water. Each sheet is then individually brushed onto a steel sheet and put outside to dry in the sun.
Once dry they are removed and pressed flat which creates the smooth parchment like surface.
Mitusmata yields a beautifully smooth, dense, parchment like surface and has excellent absorbency for inks. When used when western inks it produces a wonderful flat, matte finish. Interestingly it also has insect repelling qualities and so will stand the test of time. It doesn't need to be soaked but introducing some moisture for example from a mister can help.
Bhari is easy to work with and being very thick it's reassuring to handle especially to those of us more used to working with thicker western-made printmaking papers.
The only thing you have to watch for when handling Bhari is that it doesn't like to be rolled. Rolling can cause the surface to crack and so it must be kept flat at all times.
This packet of Bhari paper has been cut down from full sheets and so has some machine cut edges and some natural deckles.
USES: Drawing, calligraphy, printmaking, letterpress and screen printing.
There are two packs available:
SMALL (similar to Euro A4)
280 x 180 mm, 11 x 7 1/4 inches
LARGE (similar to Euro A3)
365 x 275 mm, 14 1/4 x 11 inches
SURFACE: Very Smooth
WEIGHT: Heavyweight, approximately130gsm but being handmade weights can vary a little.
Bhari is thick; in the hand it feels like a 300gsm 140lb western equivalent paper although it is obviously lighter in terms of weight-feel.