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Tibetan Paper Making Skills

Tibetan Paper Making Skills

Tibetans began to create paper when Princess Wencheng from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) arrived there more than 1300 years ago, bringing paper making technology from the mainland. After the 8th century, to meet the translation of Buddhist Scriptures, Tibetan people learn from the new technologies of nearby minority groups and local Tibetan materials have been adopted into the Tibetan paper making process, forming the unique Tibetan paper that exists today.

Tibetan paper making uses local plants including the Chinese Stellera chamaejasme, Chinese Eaglewood Wood and Cornus controversa Hemsl. According to the different materials, Tibetan papers have different uses and grades. Tibetan paper making involves peeling, boiling, rinsing, pestling and airing. The techniques of Tibetan paper making spread not only within Tibet, but also to neighboring countries such as Nepal and Bhutan.

With the development of society, paper making in various places in Tibet formed different styles. With the progress in paper making technology, many excellent paper making crafts men emerged that produced well-known Tibetan papers, such as Jindong paper. The paper that is used to make money notes and stamps and to print Buddhist lections is also well-known Tibetan paper.

Due to the dry climate of the Tibetan plateau and its special materials, the paper made in Tibet is antiseptic, mothproof and moisture-proof, and has a long shelf life.

The extraordinary paper making skills, long history and experience, contribute to Tibetan paper‘ unique culture. Thus, it is necessary for policies to preserve and protect these methods for future generations.