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01/05/16
The answer to this question is almost any type of paper provided that it is square and even then there are Origami models made from rectangular, triangular or circular paper.

Most of the paper sold on this site can be used for many types of origami models. Generally speaking the paper is thinner than normal A4 'Office ' paper which is around 80gsm. Most of the paper on this site is between 60 and 70 gsm with the exception of the Embossed papers.

This type of paper is useful for many projects however Origami models can be folded from any type of paper that will hold a crease and many more experienced folders will look for a type of paper that will suit the model that is being made and that could even be newspaper or plain brown Kraft paper,
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01/05/16
A Brief Introduction to Kirigami
Kirigami is similar to Origami, the only difference being that in Kirigami you also cut the paper, not just folding it. The word “kiru” means “to cut” in japanese, and “kami” means paper. An example of Kirigami are the paper snowflakes you may have made as a kid. Kirigami is often confused with Origami, but these two crafts are not the same. In Origami you are not allowed to to make any cuts in the paper, you must only fold one or more sheets together. There’s also no gluing or taping allowed in origami, however, both those techniques are acceptable in Kirigami. A little trick to help beginners improve is to use a pencil to make markings where to cut on the paper.

Kirigami History
Kirigami was first used in Japanese temples as an offering to the gods. All throughout Asia Kirigami was widely recognised as an art form. People in Japan and China created Kirigami to represent wealth, as paper was expensive and the hobby was restricted to only wealthier people.

Kirigami became popular in the US in the 1960s when, after the release of Florence Temko’s book Kirigami, the Creative Art of Papercutting, people started combining Kirigami techniques with a variety of other traditions. Scherenschnitte for example, is combined with Karigami to make cut paper silhouettes. Kirigami puppets that have movable parts are sometimes used in Bunraku, a form of japanese puppet show.

Kirigami Today
Today Karigami is still used for decorating greeting cards, in handmade gift wrapping, other home decor projects, scrapbooking, and in Primary School education. Those paper snowflakes help students develop visual motor skills as well as their planning abilities.
01/05/16
If you are wondering about the origins of origami, then read on! Here are a few key facts to get you acquainted with this ancient art:

Let’s start with the literal meaning of the word. In Japanese ‘ori’ means to fold, and ‘gami’ means paper.
It is widely believed that the art of making origami first came about in China around the year 102 AD and was then gradually imported into Korea and Japan. This paper folding art became very important in the day to day lives of Japanese citizens, to the extent that origami was taught at school as part of the curriculum. Nowadays children are usually taught origami at home by their parents. Many holidays are celebrated by making different types of origami. For example, on children’s day the children make colourful carps to symbolise strength (carps famously exhibit great strength when swimming against the current). In China, traditional funerals generally include a ceremonial burning of origami.

One of the most famous origami models is the Japanese crane, which has become the international symbol of peace. An ancient Japanese legend says, if someone makes one thousand cranes and makes a wish, then their wish will be granted. But remember that you cannot ask someone else for help in your epic endeavour. Any cranes that are made by another person will not be counted and therefore your wish will not be granted. All cranes must be made and kept together by the person making the wish.

If we look beyond the legend, origami cranes also have a cultural signification. A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the father, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. They can also be given to a new baby for long life and good luck. Hanging them in one's home is thought to be a powerfully lucky and benevolent charm. In light of the above, why not try your hand at making your own assortment of paper cranes, and perhaps one day your wish will be granted...

01/05/16
The Art of Paper Folding can be used for a variety of purposes that can be both useful and decorative. An example of this is origami boxes which use many traditional folds.

We will be introducing some new papers over the next couple of months which will reflect some of these attributes. Some of our papers have a shiny metallic surface which can be very attractive when creating boxes or Christmas decorations.

A classic example of an Origami box is the Masu Box.

Another useful Origami technique is the 'Waterbomb' base which can be used for the basis of Christmas Tree decorations.

You can find some of this metallic paper in our Christmas Offers.
01/05/16
The traditional Japanese art of origami dating back to the 17th Century has inspired NASA today. Using a ground-breaking and cutting-edge idea, scientists at the Space Agency are designing large solar panels that can fold neatly into a space shuttle to then be opened up by astronauts in space.

The discovery was made by Brian Trease who was inspired by a Japanese exchange student when he was at High School. Now a mechanical engineer at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Trease is working with a team to incorporate the origami miura fold into the solar panels. This fold means that once a single corner is pulled, the structure unfolds effortlessly. Although today origami is seen as a form of modern art, creating shapes such as frogs and roses, its uses are still clearly evident as NASA has shown through this modern day cross over of art and technology.

Of course this structure that incorporates the Miura fold is only in its early days, and there will be a lot more factors to consider before the solar panels are constructed. The materials NASA uses on the solar panels will have to work with origami, as the traditional paper will not withstand the conditions of space. However, the idea is a great example of how useful origami can still be in the 21st century.

If you want to find out more information on the Muira Fold there is a useful article published by the British Origami Society at:

http://www.britishorigami.info/academic/miura.php