Nepal information
Nepal's people
Nepal People - Crafts
Making Nepali paper
Nepali Forests

A large number of people are still dwelling in our forests. For their own use but also for sale they are producing many different goods:

Nepali Paper (often incorrectly called rice paper)

Our region is one of the main paper producing areas in the country. You will find paper makers in and around Bharabise, in Suspa, Bigu and in the Kalinchowk and Chardung forest ranges, from about December to the beginning of monsoon.

The raw material used is the inner bark of a shrub whose local name is lokta (Daphne bholua and Daphne Papyraceae). A different plant is Daphne edgeworthia here called Argheli from which people make ropes and strings. This lokta bark is dried and thoroughly soaked for 1 day. pulp is now placed in a wooden container and stirred with a mixer. day. After being cleaned from impurities, it is boiled together with Khasru (oak) ash for several hours. This is the most strenuous part of the job; it takes 3 full hours tor just 2kg of pulp.

The lokta pulp is now placed in wooden containers and stirred with a mixer. The resulting homogenous mass is poured into a bamboo-framed light cotton cloth which is dipped in pond slowly running a water.This moulding process demands considerable skill. The frame is put out in the sun and the thinly spread out pulp will dry in another 2 hours.

The income of traditional paper maker has a been calculated at about Rs.7 per day, which is less than that of un-skilled manual labour or porter. Efforts are being made to improve the quality paper from our area as well as the marketing arrangements in order to increase the benefits directly accruing to the producers. The big problem, however, is the decline in the raw material availability. Only systematic Lokta management or the establishment of plantations can solve this problem and save this old trade from extinction.

more information
More photos Nepali paper