Japanese-Style Papers

Our 100% kozo (paper mulberry bark) sheets are made during the winter, when cold working conditions help maintain fiber freshness. Locally grown or imported Japanese fiber is cooked in a lye of wood ash and soda ash (sodium carbonate) mix, and cleaned by hand. The cleaned fiber is beaten in a mechanically driven stamper, beaten by hand, and then given brief treatment in a naginata beater to improve fiber separation. Formation aid is rendered from fresh or fresh frozen locally-grown tororo-aoi roots. All kozo papers are available in 24x36 inch sheets (60x90 centimeters). Orders may be placed at anytime, but are only filled in March-April each year. 

Kozo Tissue and Minter Dry-Tear Guard Strips


Kozo Tissue White: An off-white mending tissue made from Japanese Nasu kozo white bark grown and harvested in Japan. This paper has fine fibers and a slight crispness.


Kozo Tissue Light Green: Slightly darker in tone, KTLG mending tissue is made from the inner bark of Japanese tree stock grown and harvested here in Iowa. Note that the color is due to natural constituents in the bark and may change with time. 


Unlike the solid, uniform thickness tissue above, Minter Dry-Tear Guard Strip sheets consist of watermarked parallel lines. They are the result of an inventive suggestion by conservation bookbinder Bill Minter, who asked if we could produce a sheet from which guard strip could be torn dry, without the need to pre-wet, fold, or score. The watermarked lines divide each MDTGS sheet into 7mm widths.  When torn the strips consist of roughly 5mm solid paper and 1mm of fibers at each edge. Usually supplied as KTW made from Japanese Nasu kozo.

Paper Weight & Quality

We strive to make all our paper consistently high in quality. Due to the handmade process however, there are inevitably variations in thickness/weight and quality. Therefore all papers are first classified as first, second, or broke quality.  First quality sheets are uniform over the full area of the sheet and (the KTW or KTLG paper) could therefore be used in backing during conservation treatment. Second quality sheets have minor defects, and up to 20% of the sheet may have limited use due to imperfections; the remaining 80% is “as first quality.” Broke sheets have major defects (poor sheet formation, delaminated or double thickness areas and the like).  However, each broke sheet is supplied in the form of pieces with a combined good quality area equal to or exceeding the total area available from a second quality sheet. Broke sheets may also prove useful for small area repairs, practice or experimental work, and collage or other artistic projects.

Our Japanese-style sheets are also supplied in light, regular, or heavy weight as shown in the table below.

Table of Approximate Japanese-Style Mending Tissue Weights and Thickness

Paper Weight


Thickness in inches

Thickness in millimeters





Regular Weight








 *Grams per square meter


Paper Type




KTW & KTLG (solid sheets)










Please note that TALAS sometimes has Chancery and/or our Japanese-style sheets available.  All orders less than $100 must be made through TALAS per our agreement with them. http://www.talasonline.com  Either TALAS or the UICB may be contacted for orders of $100 or more. To place an order or for more information email timothy-barrett@uiowa.edu An invoice will be included with your shipment and may be paid by check, Mastercard, or Visa. Note that 6% sales tax will be added to orders shipped to addresses in Iowa. International orders may be paid by international money order or credit card and may require a 50% deposit.

Handmade Papers