My Indian All-stars

Indian handmade papers – made into books.

Could India be the producer of the world’s most beautiful handmade papers?

When I took bookbinding classes at La Libreria, one of the most impressive materials we handled were handmade papers from India.

I found out that these exotic papers are from Chris, who used to run a paper shop at Bras Basah Complex here in Singapore. Unfortunately, the shop has since closed, but I managed to track him down and bought some from him at his warehouse. His remaining — and dwindling — stock is now available once more at an art supply store named Overjoyed.

These handmade paper are quite stunning, and I can see how they can elevate everyday objects into a thing of beauty. Perfect for bookmaking!

Purple metallic embossed florals and flocked green baroque designs.

There are many designs and finishes — embossed, flocked (velvety finish), perforated, gold-threaded, metallic spot-printed, grained or in any combination of finishes. The papers are all very tactile, and you can find designs ranging from art deco to whimsical. Some come in multiple colourways.

I also like the fact that you can always find that little bit of flaw and irregularity, which acts like a stamp of authenticity.

Quirky dots and art deco luxe in black velvet on silver paper.

The photos here show my favourites.

Perforated florals on white silk paper with gold threads and flocked bronze stars.

I hope I can find new sources for papers like these when the stock eventually runs out over at Overjoyed.

What is your favourite source for handmade paper?

Printed gold stars on black silk paper and blind embossed florals.

See more at “albums” at my Bukurama Facebook page.

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