The Art of Papermaking: Unwrapping an Ancient Technique

Known for their radiant colors, exotic patterns and unique designs, World Market’s exclusive handmade gift bags, wrapping paper and boxes are crafted in India using ancient paper making techniques.

The art of papermaking has existed for more than 2,000 years, and is often passed down through numerous generations of “kagzis” (derived from kavas, the Urdu word for paper). While the crafting process has certainly evolved to embrace some modern technologies, it still takes many hours of work and multiple steps to transform recycled cotton fabric into paper.

The Art of Papermaking: Unwrapping an Ancient Technique - Discover, A World Market Blog

STEP 1: White cotton remnants are collected and run through a rag chopping machine, creating tiny bits. The bits are mixed with water and passed through blades to form a paste.

STEP 2: The paste is transferred to tanks, mixed with more water, then lifted from below by flat iron mesh and stacked between sheets of fabric. Next, a hydraulic press flattens the sheets to squeeze out excess water.

STEP 3: After drying, sheets are passed through a pressing machine, which uses rollers and iron plates to create an even surface. Each and every sheet is checked for blemishes.

STEP 4: Once the final product has the thumbs up, it’s sent to be screen printed in an array of dazzlingly exotic designs, many of which are created by our own World Market merchants.

This painstaking process is worth it, and the final result is our incredible assortment of eco-conscious, one-of-a-kind works of art that make each gift you give even more special. Read more about our handmade gift wrap here.

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