Made by Hussein Kagzi in Rajasthan, these are rare Islamic papers from perhaps the very last traditional Kagzi papermaker still working in India. The papers are made from sunn hemp fiber on a chapri paper mold made from grass stems strung together in a matting. This technique imparts a distinctive laid pattern to each sheet . The sheets are then dried on a plaster wall and the surfaces sized with wheat starch. Colored papers are made using traditional vegetable-based dyes and applied by hand using a brush. Finally, each sheet is burnished by hand by rubbing on a curved block of wood with a smooth stone.
There are three colors available:
- Catechu (a matte black)
- Pomegranate (pinkish brown)
- Madder (a dark almost walnut-looking brown)
This listing is for Catechu. Catechu comes from the root of the areca palm. The paper is traditionally made for calligraphy and fine brush and pen work. In India, it is used by the Jain community for handwritten genealogies written in gold.
In the early 1980's, Khadi Papers was the first to introduce Indian handmade papers to artists and designers in London. Fifteen years ago, Kahdi, in partnership with Mr. Vasudevan, the former head of India's Handmade Paper Institute, established its own paper mill. The mill now employs more than 50 men and women and additional jobs for local bookbinders, printers, envelope makers and carpenters.
The mill also runs its own organic farm, irrigated by the run-off water from the paper mill. Here Khadi grows mangoes, bananas and vegetables.
The paper mill is near Karnataka in South India in a cotton growing area. Cotton, more specifically cotton rag offcuts from local industry, is Khadi's primary raw material.
The supplies available on The Saturday Market Project will provide you with the raw materials to make your own handmade paper.