Handmade Paper

A fundamental aspect of the Bhutanese culture is handmade paper-making. Historically, this tradition was primarily used to provide manuscript books and written prayers for Buddhist monasteries. The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory in the capital city of Thimphu carries on this part of the Bhutanese culture today, while adapting to modern necessities and demands by hand making greeting cards and stationery. The factory’s name “Jungshi” means “natural,” due to the fact that only natural and raw materials, such as bark or flowers, are used to manufacture the paper. The production process requires specialized expertise and time. It takes up to three days to make one single sheet of paper. A wooden frame with a bamboo screen filter is dipped into the pulp and starch mixture, then it is moved around to flatten a thin layer of the mixture and spread out over the screen evenly. The result is a natural and smooth sheet of paper with texture from the bark and fibers from which it was made.