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This origami post is purely for educational purposes, since we do not own the designs on the paper below. If you would like to purchase these papers, visit Yasutomo’s large selection of kami and paper-backed foil.
Kami, or koi paper, is paper made specifically for origami and the most widely available. The word kami is simply Japanese for paper.
Kami is thin and easy to fold. It’s usually printed only on one side, with a solid color or pattern. These patterns can be as simple as a gradation from one color to another, or as complex as a pattern of flowers and cranes with gold foil embellishments. Kami comes in several sizes, but standard sizes include 75 × 75 mm (about 3 × 3 inches), 6-inch squares and 10-inch squares.
This medium is a slightly more expensive, flashier, paper that is good for retaining creases called paper-backed foil paper, Japanese foil, or simply foil. Foil paper is composed of a thin layer of foil adhered to an extremely thin sheet of paper.
The most common colors are silver and gold, but any color is possible in foil paper including bright pink, blue and copper. In many multi-color packs, one sheet each of silver and gold paper is included. These are usually placed on the bottom end of the string if used in a thousand origami cranes.
Washi is a thick handmade paper, available commercially but very expensive. Washi is a long-fibered paper but is also very soft. It does not hold a sharp fold due to the extremely long and thick fibers of the pulp.
Inclusions of flowers, leaves, grass, seeds, string, ribbon, and other small decorative items are common for washi, adding to the random and handmade appearance of the finished craft. Washi is also accepting of ink, making it easy to print upon.
Printed washi has a uniquely shiny, uneven and occasionally transparent texture. In origami it is not as commonly used as kami paper.