Kozo and Gampi

The Japanese term "washi" is synonymous with the word "paper," and encompasses just about any type of Japanese paper. Kozo, Gampi, and Mitsumata are terms for the three main fibers that are used to make Japanese papers. These fibers are extremely strong and durable, allowing Japanese paper makers to create extraordinarily thin papers that are surprisingly durable. The strength and durability of these papers makes them ideal for all kinds of printmaking, as well as encaustic painting, watercolor, and sumi painting. The long fibers that make up these sheets allow the papers to get wet and still maintain their integrity and durability. Many artists (particularly print makers) are familiar with Mulberry paper. Most mulberry papers are actually made using kozo fiber!