Lokta Paper Sheets
FACTS ABOUT HANDMADE ‘NEPALI KAGAJ’ - LOKTA PAPER
‘Nepali Kagaj’ means Nepalese Handmade Paper - made from ‘Lokta’ plant. It is Nepal’s very important, indigenous and traditional paper. Due to the high length to width ratio of lokta fiber, the paper has a remarkable tearing strength. In addition, Lokta paper withstands insects and temperature extremes. Therefore from the very olden days the ‘Lokta’ paper is used to preserve the oldest available manuscripts of Hindu’s and Buddhist texts. It is a tradition in Nepal to preserve the valuable things in ‘Lokta’ paper as such all legal documents and property ownership documents are registered in Lokta paper. About thousand years ago, Tibetans introduced the Chinese technology of paper-making in Nepal using the bark from Daphne papyacea or Daphne cannabina, or more popularly known as “Lokta”. The lokta were gathered at high altitudes of 6,500 to 9,500 feet in a way that preserved the fragile ecology of the forests. They were then carried to villages for 2-3 days down the mountains where they were cleaned and boiled then beaten with wooden mallets into a pulp. The pulp was then poured into wooden frame and sun-dried. The resulting paper was exceptionally durable and resistant to moths and mildew. This paper continues to be produced today for daily use. But unlike before, new technologies have made it possible to produce ‘vegetable dyed’ coloured paper imprinted with a variety of designs. Their use have also extended beyond scared and legal manuscripts to calendars, kites, masks, stationery, notebooks, gift wrappers, bags, envelopes, greetings cards, paper lamps, and as printing material for books and other publications.