Japanese repair tissue is sometimes called “rice” paper, but this thin paper is made from the fibers of the mulberry tree, not from rice as the nickname implies. The strength of Japanesere pair tissue comes from its long fibers which make the paper very strong, even though it is very thin. Handmade Japanese repair tissues are made on a mold and have mold or “chain” lines which can be seen in the paper. These lines generally run the same direction as the paper grain. The lines are visible when the paper held up to a light or held down to let the light shine from above. The grain can also be determined by using the tear, bend or water test discussed previously.
In general, Japanese repair tissue is torn rather than cut. A piece of torn Japanese tissue has a delicate feathered edge that blends into the repaired paper, so there is no sharp edge for the repaired page to turn against.
Different methods of tearing Japanese tissue are outlined in a separate post..
Japanese repair tissue can be purchased in different weights and colors.
Generally, three weights will cover most repair needs. Since most paper is not truly white, I recommend you buy the “natural” or “toned” colors.
- TENGUJO light weight for working over type or illustrations
- KIZUKISHI medium weight for most repairs
- SEKISHU heavy weight for heavier paper
Although Japanese repair tissue may seem very expensive, only a small amount is used on any one tear. One sheet of Japanese repair tissue will last you a long time.