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Hidaka Washi = "The world thinnest" washi

Hidaka Washi Co., Ltd.

3486-1 Okina, Takaoka-gun, Kochi
TEL: 0889-24-7857
FAX: 0889-24-7858

[Manufacturing papers]
Thin washi paper for restoration / premium printing paper
washi for interior decoration / gift wrapping

Restoration scene of "Ungyozo" at Hozomon, Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

Thin washi paper

Restoration field in the world-

Our Thin "Washi" paper

The main purpose is for the restoration.
In order to hand down invaluable cultural properties to following generations as witness of history, this paper is used for restoration and maintenance of paintings, books, Buddhist statues and more which needed to be restored.
Therefore, the thinness, finess of the surface, and deterioration resistance of paper itself even after the restoration are the essential features for this kind of paper.

The importance of "thinness"

Hidaka washi is literary "The world thinnest Japanese mulberry paper".
It is as thin as only 0.02mm and weight is 2g/m2, The photo taken with Hidaka washi in front of model shows nothing but only model standing.
The way of restoration of paintings and books after the works like filling holes, mainly to reinforce by covering with thin washi papers. Therefore, the thinner the paper, the more suitable for restoration because it is easily fit to original paintings and books, without giving the damage to the texture of original object.
As for the restoration of Buddhist statues, affix thin washi papers at damaged places and color on top, or to protect colors from fading by covering with thin washi papers. The original texture remains because the paper will become transparent and only fibers will be left. Therefore, the most important feature of this paper is its thinness.

The beauty of texture

"Finess of [jiai]" seems to be one of the many reasons for our clients to choose Hidaka Washi when ordering thin washi papers. The word "jiai" generally means "texture" of paper.
The fibers in our thin washi papers are extremely fine and even in size, which is the result of intensive treatment of raw materials.
It is vital not to disturb the original texture of the cultural property during the process of restoration, therefore together with the feature of thinness, this beatiful texture of "jiai" is a major reason to choose our products.

Chlorine-free bleached paper

We do not use chlorine when bleaching. The reason is, if chlorine-bleached paper is applied for restoration of paintings, ancient documents, art works and Buddhist statues, this will result the sallowness, discoloration, change in paints and deterioration.
In order to meet clients' request, we had developed the technology of chlorine-free bleaching. It is necessary to bleach more than 13 times and to wash in water again and again, but then have successfully produced almost 0% of chlorine residual, mildly alkaline of pH7, much near to neutral-unbleached condition. And, no fluorescent- coating.
As a result, we have received a certificate from Shikoku Bereau of Economy, Trade and Industry for "Developing and opening a market of original washi by applying the new method of preparation of raw materials to traditional "Tosawashi"" as most suitable washi for restoration and maintenance of long-term storage of documents and precious memories.

Performance in restoration

Japan : "Ungyozo" at Hozomon, Sensoji Temple, Tokyo / Surface of Ainu tray (collecton of Tokyo National Museum) / Kibi Cultural Property Restoration Center (Saitama) / Archival Conservation and Enclosures for Paper-based Record Materials (Tokyo) / restoration of ancient documents and oil paintings at museum, library and art colleges, etc.
Overseas : Libraries in Spain and Portugal, etc. Others in Middle East, Germany, Russia, Korea and Chine (Hong Kong)

At present, we are in a big restoration project of museums in the cities of Europe, which submerged by natural disaster. We were awared a contract after bidding with many other companies and Hidaka Washi's product is the only washi to be used in this project. This, we think, is to prove the highest quality and reliability of our products.
We will continue to make best effort to improve our technology to support the restoration and maintenace field from here in Kochi prefecture to Japan and overseas......

Challenge to the thinnest

"Original paper machine"
"Time and effort of hand-made"
Hidaka's mulberry washi is not hand-made, but machine-made papers. The reason of using machine is that we pursue the extreme thinness. The maximum thiness by hand-made is about 6g, whereas due to coutinuous treatment, machine-made is able to produce as thin as 2g.
Of course, it is not so simple and easy to produce a thin paper only by using the machines. We have experienced the succession of failures and mistakes in the beginning, could only produce 3-4g or making holes with thinner papers. And finally achieved a goal to create the "world's thinnest paper", washi of 2g. All of our paper machines are totally original. In order to perfectly apply our technology to create the thinnest paper, we ordered the machine manufacturer even into tiny details for our one and only paper machine.
At the same time, we never forget the importance to devote a great deal of time and care when making product. Our craftmen are saying that quality of the paper depends on the way of preparation of raw materials.
At Hidaka Washi, the preparation process is almost same as for the days of hand-made washi. Start with intensive washing treatment, fine down the raw material of mulberry and the removal of impurity will be done by sight and hand for more than 20 times, again and again. Also the adjustment of density and delicate machine operation are done by experienced veteran craftman.
All of above blend together to produce the "world's thinnest paper".

Other products

As above we have explained about our thin washi paper, additionally there are other products available such as papers for lighting/interior use, base-paper for hanging scroll, gift wrapping, paper art (Chigirie), art paper and premium printing papers, etc.
Based with our advanced and unique technology of making thinnest paper, we would strongly recommend our other products for their quality and reliability.

For interior use and lighting

The texture of long-fiber mixed mulberry paper creating the unexpected diverging of light, shade and shadow.
The light may seem to enfold our mind, scrambling in this modern society. Our mulberry washi have been supporting great lighting designers for a long time at materials for lampshade.
We will try to improve our techniques to create washi with originality in accordance with the change of the times.

New products for interior use

This paper is produced with the concept in an opposite manner. It is a latest interior items based with old materials with various patterns, colors and coating of colored-washi by synthetic resin such as vinyl chloride.
These items can be polished by wiping up, therefore can be used for interior design at commercial facilities, most suitable for "Japanese-style" shops and restaurants.
We will extend the market to the countries in Europe.

Gift Wrapping

To hand on your message through the warmth of washi.
Nowadays, it is easy to purchase imported wrapping papers at low price. But you can see that their qualities are comparatively low even if you are not professional like us.
Gift is the way to tell your feeling. Why not sending your message of gratitude, love and celebration with warmth and soft texture of authentic washi.

For art paper / premium printing paper

Expressive texture of washi.
Feel the warmth of paper by touch which can be seen through. Our washi has a unique texture which can never be feeled and experienced by "washi-like" papers.
Now, unique texture of mulberry and long-fiber are seen in a new light. Our mulberry washi has a long history to be appointed by major publishing companies, designing office and printing companies.
We are suggesting the washi-based printing method, by applying our advanced processing technologies in papermaking industry.

As "Washi Consultant"

As "Washi Consultant", we would like to promote the excellent features of washi. Please feel free to make any inquiries about papers. Inquiries in English are also welcome. Even if Hidaka Washi will not be able to support, we will introduce other companies to make sure you will receive some form of response.
There is special kind of warmth that you can feel from the texture of long-fiber mixed mulberry washi. But in the other hand, it has the image of difficulty to work on.
There are the things which can be supported only by Hidaka Washi who is dealing with mulberry washi for many years. For cutting, printing, colors and raw materials. As a professional paper manufacturer, our staff will be responsible to help and find the solution to your problems.

紙の相談窓口 Consultant service for papers

Go beyond Kochi, Japan to the World...

During recent years, our main product of "The world's thinnest washi(Japanese) paper" appeared and introduced in the overseas brochure of National Archives of Japan. There are more and more occasions to receive media exposure to be recognized, consistently buiding up the marks and actual result.
We feel that high-quality, advanced skill, safety and reliability of our products lead to these achievement.
Nowadays, western-style of house is a housing trend and decreased in number to bulid Japanese-style room. For this reason, it is a chance to review Japanese traditional beauty and culture.
We do have a remarkable amount and quality of experience, knowledge and technology regarding mulberry washi, with reputation of "Thin paper = Hidaka". If you are thinking of any paper-related products, we are here for the support.
We will be respectful to the tradition of washi as part of the ancient Japanese culture, and be determined to continue our efforts for the development of technologies and products to disseminate our products within the country, and to the world.

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