The Art Of Papier Mache: Origin, Products & Care

Apart from its obvious purpose, paper has also served art for decades. Previously, it was essentially and commonly used as a white background in matters of art; an empty canvas waiting for vivid colors to breathe life into it. And then, of course, there was our favourite childhood pastime - crafting boats out of perfectly cut paper squares each time the rains came pouring down.

Over time paper crafts have evolved, and beautifully so. To name a few - the art of origami, quilling, scrapbooking, decoupage and papier mache. Of all these, papier mache craft creates pieces that are not just visually appealing, but equally functional as well.

So, what is papier mache, where was the craft born, and how does it serve us? Papier Mache originated in China, eventually spreading to Japan and Persia. In the 15th century, Persian scholar Shah-e-Hamadan brought 700 artisans from Persia to Kashmir. Today, it is majorly practiced by the Shia community; made in homes, and workshops, in Srinagar, and other parts of the Kashmir Valley. It primarily consists of paper pulp, and is a richly decorated, colourful artifact, made generally in the form of decorative objects.

There’s no better way than papier mache to adorn your home with art, while also contributing to preserving the environment. It is an excellent way to reduce, reuse and recycle. The products are light-weight and non-toxic, and hence safe to be used by children. The process of creating pieces out of this craft in itself is a delight; here’s what goes into the making of our vessels-

How To Make Papier Mache: Our Process-

  1. Paper pulp is created through soaking or boiling the paper
    2. To this, the adhesive is added
  2. Then, paper strips are glued together with an adhesive on a form for which support is needed
    4. To shape these paper strips precisely; reinforcements are done with wires, lightweight shapes, balloons, or textiles
  3. Traditional adhesive use a mixture of water and flour or other starch, mixed to the consistency of heavy cream

Our Papier Mache Products

Our papier mache vessels are crafted in Kashmir, and carefully contrasted in bold hues of red & white. A refined result of a thorough process, each product is sure to impress. Here’s a glimpse into our collection-

1. FETE - Set Of 3 Bowls
Dimensions (cm): (Large) Height: 4.8 | Diameter: 27

2. REID - Set Of 2 Round Trays
Dimensions (cm): Height: 1.5 | Diameter: 20

3. JEST - Single Bowl
Dimensions (cm): Height: 9 | Diameter: 23.5

4. JESTA - Single Round Tray
Dimensions (cm): Height: 3.9 | Diameter: 12.2

5. JULO - Single Rectangular Tray
Dimensions (cm): Length: 24.5 | Breadth: 14 | Height: 2.5

6. JULA - Set Of 2 Rectangular Trays
Dimensions (cm): Length: 18.8 | Breadth: 8.5 | Height: 3.6

7. LAALTA - Single Planter (painted in two colors)
Dimensions (cm): Length: 21 | Breadth: 17.3 | Height: 21

8. LAALTO - Single Planter (white on the outside; red on the inside)
Dimensions (cm):  Length: 17.8 | Height: 15 | Breadth: 17.8

9. STRETI - Single Square Box with Lid
Dimensions (cm): Length: 22.5 | Breadth: 22.5 | Height: 8.7

10. STRETO - Single Round Box with Lid
Dimensions (cm): Height: 5.8 | Diameter: 17.3

11. STRETA - Single Round Box with Lid
Dimensions (cm): Height | 10.5, Diameter: 14

How To Care For Your Papier Mache Pieces?

Our papier mache pieces are intricately handcrafted by the artisan, making them unique. To make the most of them and have them at your service for long, you have to treat them with care. The most important thing is to keep them away from all liquids as they are made from paper. Here are some of the other points to be remembered-


- Use only dry cloth to remove dust

- Use to store lightweight and dry items

- Store in a cool and dry place


- Use wet cloth or chemicals to remove dust

- Use it in microwave

Bring Home The Papier Mache Art With Ikai Asai

Ikai Asai brings you handcrafted products born out of this creative craft; each one helps you master the art of hosting. No matter the occasion, our vessels are at the ready to best please your guests. These aesthetic pieces are eye-pleasing, eco-friendly, and easily available. Bring home art in its finest form - browse through our collection and order online today.

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