Friday, November 18, 2005

History Lokta Paper

WELCOME TO SHANGRI-LA MAGAZINE


Today the versatility of the paper is vastly explored and it has found an exclusive niche in global markets.

he history of Lokta paper dates back to several centuries. Grown in the high Himalayas, Lokta or Daphne Cannabis is a shrub that regenerates itself. Used for its fibrous quality, paper is made from lokta for its durability and versatility.

According to various ancient documents, it is believed that in the 8th century Lokta papers were traded to the Buddhist monks to write their scriptures. But when the trade with Tibet ceased, all the Lokta craftsmen entered the valley to keep the tradition of this “Kagaz” alive. Nepali paper making is an ancient practice that has survived time and evolved into a thriving handicraft business.

The paper itself is very special with a feeling of timelessness. Earlier and till today the paper has found its prime use in government offices for all official documents, certificates, files and invitation cards. Today the versatility of the paper is vastly explored and it has found an exclusive niche in global markets. It is used for gift wrapping, packaging, customised stationery, wall papers, lamp shades and even clothing.

Thousands of villagers in the mountains have found a living through the collection of Lokta which is then processed through specialised small scale industries into various types of paper. From fine tissue to the thicker variety, Nepali paper can be found in different textures and hues. Products made from the paper are accessorised with beads, dried flowers, straw and various types of grass by skilled artisans. The paper has gained extensive popularity over the years and today one can also find sheets that can go through a computer printer.

Pure Lokta paper is more in demand than recycled paper for its sheer durability and exclusiveness. Papers and paper products can be purchased from shops in Thamel, Kupondole and various specialised showrooms across the capital.

Where to buy:
Hastakala, Mahaguthi and
Barefoot in Kupondole

Check out our Lokta Paper Lanterns

No comments: