Gampi 101

About Gampi from Japan

The Chinese characters for gampi literally translates as  “goose skin”. This paper is sometimes referred to as “silk tissue”.

Paper Connection’s Gampi Paper Collection is made from 100% gampi, a lustrous, silky fiber native to Japan and other parts of Asia. Both in its sheet form or in the raw fiber form, gampi by its natural make-up reacts to ink as if it had sizing on it.  In other words, it holds ink on its crisp, smooth surface beautifully.  At Paper Connection, we call it the “queen of printmaking”.

All of our gampi sheets were made in Kōchi Prefecture, located on the island of Shikoku, in southwestern Japan.  Gampi fiber comes from the inner bark of branches of the gampi bush. Since it is difficult to cultivate, it is obtained from wild plants, therefore paper is especially coveted.  Although some thinner gampi sheets seem fragile, each sheet is extremely strong and impervious to insects.

Historically, gampi was used for mimeographs.  Today, with its high quality finish, the uses have expanded to chine collé, etching, lithograph, monotype, relief, offset, letterpress and inkjet printing, art conservation and model-making- like those paper balloons…  It’s incredibly strong; much stronger than it looks!gampi, gampi papers, washi1. (First 2 papers from left) . We stock Usuyou Gampi-shi @ 10g/m² in white and natural in sheets 24.8 x 37 in.  and now both of these  gampi papers stocked in 10-meter rolls!  Rolls are used for big installations or big prints, even dipped in wax!  Check out these stunning monoprints on usuyou gampi paper dipped in encaustic wax by Christine Shannon Aaron.gampi, usuyou gampi, encaustic, monoprint

2. (3rd image from left) . Kitakata paper is the only one in our collection which is made from a gampi mix fiber and made by Awagami Factory.  Not only do we have kitakata paper in sheets, but in a few weeks  we will have kitakata in rolls!   Below is a group of 4 intaglio prints on kitakata paper by the talented Amanda J. Thackery.

kitakata, gampi, Amanda Thackery

3. (2 papers from right side).  We also stock sheets of pre-backed gampi or Gampi Sukiawase paper.   100% gampi surface with a mixed pulp backing.

These work well for intaglio; really any kind of relief printmaking.  Style # M-0227 80g/m² Natural.  #M-0229 white 100g/m² .   Both are 24.8 x 37 inches.   One other weight of limited edition gampi  in stock as well.

20-meter roll of gampi sukiawase paper in White #M-0229 recently added to our inventory.

Read our blog-interview with printmaker Larry Welo and his high praise of using gampi sukiawase paper for his etchings.

thepaperwoman

12 Comments

  1. Thai Village on February 16, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Would this be suitable for making hand scrolls?

    • thepaperwoman on February 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Hello Ruth, the thinner gampi paper may be too translucent and won’t roll easily.
      The kitakata paper has body to it, so it would work fine. KitaKata sheets are fairly small though.
      the gampi sukiawase may work, if there is not too much rolling and unrolling. will the scroll be used to hang on a wall?
      For more info send an email to: paperwoman@paperconnection.com.

  2. Christine Aaron on February 25, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring my work! I did want you to know that there is no encaustic on them. It is just hand inked up prints on the gampi. When they move they make the most beautiful “whisper” of a sound, and walking through them causes them to stir and react. I LOVE the paper and will be ordering more soon! xo Christine

    • thepaperwoman on March 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Christine, we love your work and your use of gampi paper!

  3. carol bivins on February 23, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Can this paper be gessoed and used with oils?

    • Paper Woman on June 8, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Sure. but gampi is naturally non-porous, so it almost doesn’t need any gesso or sizing.

  4. Myra Gilbert on April 13, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Please remember that you promised last July to let me know when you receive a shipment of 10 yard rolls of gampi silk tissue? thank you – Myta in the Isle of Man

    • Paper Woman on June 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Myra! The equipment for the gampi was under repair for a long long time. Finally the rolls were re-produced and should be here any day now. phew!

  5. Elizabeth on July 25, 2017 at 4:02 am

    I’d like to try Gampi for drawing with graphite, and possible with water media. Can you recommend which type I might try?

    • Paper Woman on July 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks for writing Elizabeth. We have a few questions in order to direct you to the right gampi paper. How are you using the graphite -heavy/aggressive media approaches? Is the water media in conjunction with the graphite or a separate series? Does the surface have to be pristine or is a natural fiber element (texture) ok for the work?
      Water media is a whole other set of issues, of course, as you know! Gampi paper is not sized, but usually can hold water media well. We have several types (weights) of gampi paper from Japan, as well as gampi-like papers from the Philippines.

  6. john schartung on November 25, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I am wondering if I could send you a paper sample of what I have been looking for. I last purchased some from Aikos. I understand you have taking their place and hopefully the same paper.

    • Paper Woman on November 29, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Hi John,
      did you see our email reply the other day? go ahead and send a sample to match.

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