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Saturday, February 11, 2012

한지 Hanji, more than just a Paper

한지 Hanji

photo credit :
taken from words 'Han' means Korea and 'Ji', paper, was made of the inner bark of the mulberry tree. The growth of the mulberry tree is largely affected by its environment such as climate and soil condition and will determine the quality of the paper. Main material for Hanji is simple, paper mulberry, natural formation aid, and clean water. Hanji was developed between the 4th century and the early 7th century.

Hanji not only for calligraphy, painting, and books. It is used also for doors, walls, windows, furnitures, umbrellas, lanterns, boxes, baskets, fans, shoes, and clothes. Strong, dimensionally stable, solid, does not tear easily in either direction and long lasting life are some of its character. We can see Hanji can be applicable from the household equipments to souvenirs.Very flexible and useful for everything.

Traditional Hanji craft forms include jiho, jido, and jiseung.

Jiho is a method that uses hanji scraps soaked in water and then added to glue, making a clay-like paste that can be molded into lidded bowls.
Jido is the craft of pasting many layers of hanji onto a pre-made frame, which can be made into sewing baskets and trunks.
Jiseung is a method of cording and weaving strips of hanji to make a wide array of household goods, including trays, baskets, mats, quivers, shoes, washbasins, and chamberpots.

There's an old Korean saying: 'Gyeon Oh Baek Ji Cheon Nyeon' – meaning silk lasts 500 years but paper lasts 1000. Not every paper is like that, of course. This only applies to Hanji created in the traditional Korean style.

Video credits on Youtube :
Dream Paper Hanji 한지 uploaded by lovearirang
The beauty of Korean Paper Crafts (한지공예) uploaded by lovearirang
Jiseung/Noyeokgae: paper weaving uploaded by moonaimee

References :
An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture.

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